Nurses start voting on strike over pay

300,000 nurses are due to vote today about whether to strike over pay.

The vote comes amid warnings that record numbers of nurses are leaving their jobs.

This is the Royal College of Nursing's (RCN) first UK-wide ballot.

The RCN said analysis by London Economics showed that nurses' real-terms earning have fallen by 6 per cent compared with 3.2 per cent for those who work in the private sector.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said to those being balloted: “This is a once-in-a-generation chance to improve your pay and combat the staff shortages that put patients at risk.

“Governments have repeatedly neglected the NHS and the value of nursing. We can change this if together we say ‘enough is enough’.

“Record numbers are feeling no alternative but to quit and patients pay a heavy price. We are doing this for them too.

“I have spoken with hundreds of you directly in recent weeks - it’s clear we need urgent change.

“Nursing is the best job in the world. Protect it with your vote.”

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