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The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is organising the ballot on the grounds that nurses in NI were the only nurses in the UK not to receive a pay rise for 2015-16.
The proposed protest is a work-to-rule protest, and could result in nurses refusing to work unpaid hours or carrying out non-nursing activities, which the RCN says are ‘imposed on nurses’.
Janice Smyth, the RCN's director in NI, said: "Not only are our members now paid less than their counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales, but many other public servants in Northern Ireland have received a pay award, leaving nursing, a predominantly female profession, subjected to unfair treatment.
"An experienced staff nurse in Northern Ireland is now paid £279 a year less than in England and £561 a year less than in Scotland. The message that the care they provide to the people of Northern Ireland is not valued is being made loud and clear."
A spokesperson for NI Health Minister Simon Hamilton said that Department for Health ‘values the essential role that purses play’ and claimed that trade unions had refused to enter discussions on a settlement, but hoped the unions would change their mind and begin to engage with the Department of Health.
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