Nurses vote to strike

The Royal College of Nursing has released the results of its ballots and revealed that the majority voted to strike.

The results showed that RCN members at the majority of NHS employers across the UK have voted in favour of strike action.

Strikes will take place at NHS trusts and health boards that have met the relevant legal requirements. Members will find out via email if strikes will happen at their workplace.

All NHS employers in Scotland and Northern Ireland will be included in the action. All health boards in Wales except one also met the relevant legal turnout thresholds to qualify for action. There will be strike action at many hospitals in England, though some did not meet the legal turnout thresholds to qualify.

The RCN said: "The RCN will ensure that strike action is carried out legally and safely at all times. "

In explaining the reasons for strike action, they said that experienced nurses are 20 per cent worse off in real terms compared to a decade ago. They are campaigning for a pay rise of 5 per cent above RPI inflation to overcome the real-terms payouts and support staff through the cost of living crisis.

RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen said: “I want to thank every member who took part in, or supported, this ballot. You can be very proud. The results are strong and clear.  

“This is a defining moment in our history, and our fight will continue through strike action and beyond for as long as it takes to win justice for the nursing profession and our patients.

“Anger has become action – our members are saying enough is enough. The voice of nursing in the UK is strong and I will make sure it is heard. Our members will no longer tolerate a financial knife-edge at home and a raw deal at work.

“Ministers must look in the mirror and ask how long they will put nursing staff through this. While we plan our strike action, next week’s budget is the UK government’s opportunity to signal a new direction with serious investment. Across the country, politicians have the power to stop this now and at any point.  

“This action will be as much for patients as it is for nurses. Standards are falling too low and we have strong public backing for our campaign to raise them. This winter, we are asking the public to show nursing staff you are with us.”

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