Nurses across UK vote to STRIKE over pay dispute

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said industrial action will take place in the NHS trusts or health boards that have met the legal requirements

Published

Nursing staff at the majority of NHS employers across the UK have voted to strike over pay.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said industrial action will take place in the NHS trusts or health boards that have met the legal requirements.

Many of the biggest hospitals in England will see strike action by RCN members but others narrowly missed the legal turnout thresholds to qualify for action.

Steve Barclay says the decision to strike is 'disappointing'
Steve Barclay says the decision to strike is 'disappointing'

All NHS employers in Northern Ireland and Scotland will be included and all bar one in Wales met the relevant legal thresholds.

Guys and St Thomas’ in London, opposite the House of Commons, appears in the list as well as other leading hospitals in capital cities of the UK – the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, University Hospital Wales in Cardiff and Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

This is the first statutory ballot on industrial action across the UK in the 106-year history of the RCN.

Industrial action is expected to begin before the end of this year and the RCN’s mandate to organise strikes runs until early May 2023, six months after members finished voting.

RCN General Secretary Pat Cullen said: “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.”

Health Secretary Steve Barclay described the results of the ballot as “disappointing”.