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Nurses vote in favour of strike ballot

16 May, 2017

Nurses vote in favour of strike ballot

Members of the RCN have voted in favour of a ballot to strike over pay.

A total of 91% of members responding said they would take industrial action short of strike, while 78% said they were prepared to strike.

The RCN said the turnout of 19% was not large enough to mandate an immediate formal ballot of members. 

However, the union said it would look to ballot on strike action later in the year, if the government does not drop the pay cap.  

Jon Skewes, RCM director of policy, employment relations and communications, said: 'NHS staff have now seen seven years of pay restraint and with at least another three years on the horizon. 

‘Continuing pay restraint is a disastrous, unsustainable policy for maternity services and the NHS. We are working with other NHS trade unions to break the government’s policy of pay restraint.
‘Back in 2014 we took the historic decision to take industrial action for the first time in our 134-year history. The RCM took a leading role in that dispute and the historic scenes of midwives and maternity support workers on the picket lines was a pivotal step in winning the dispute.’

The Conservatives have said extra money is being invested to enable ministers to ensure patient safety is prioritised and, despite the vacancies, the number of nurses employed is still rising.

Between 2010 and 2016 the number employed has risen by 2% to just over 300,000 full-time nurses.

The RCN says that NHS in England is still drastically short of nurses and that there are 40,000 posts unfilled.

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