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Nurses to vote on industrial action

16 July 2007

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Nurses in England will today vote to decide whether the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) should hold a formal ballot on industrial action over the pay rise dispute.

England is now the only country in the UK to ignore the pay review body’s recommendations to offer nurses an unstaged 2.5% pay award in full.

Nurses in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales all received a full pay award earlier this year.

The RCN say that nursing staff in England “deserve better” and add that a staged award could lose nurses lose hundred of pounds.

RCN members who say they want a formal ballot will then be asked to indicate what type of industrial action they would willingly support, including refusal to work unpaid overtime, attend non-patient related meetings and complete data returns linked to Department of Health targets.

Only RCN members employed by NHS organizations in England will be able to vote in the ballot.

General Secretary of the RCN Dr Peter Carter said: “Nurses in England have earned the right to a fair pay deal every bit as much as their colleagues in the rest of the UK.

“So it’s time for those at Westminster to reconsider their decision as a matter of urgency”

The indicative ballot closes at noon on Monday 6 August.

Related story: Northern Ireland nurses awarded full pay rise 

Royal College of Nursing

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

“I tend to sit on the fence but really believe until the government realises that as a nation we rely on the expertise of our nursing staff in the medical world from the HCA to nurse practitioners to always be there. We must pay them what they are worth and not let them beg for it” – Name and address supplied

“All staff now under AG4C would have had to receive the full award at the start of the year. This should have been done as it makes the two-part pay rise appear lower than it actually was thus lowering morale” – Name and address supplied