That this meeting of RCN Congress following the result of the pay poll, calls for a summer of planned protest activity followed by an industrial action ballot, should the next Westminster government fail to end of the policy of pay restraint.
Proposing this emergency resolution, Chair of RCN Council Michael Brown said that the 52,000 members who returned the recent pay poll had sent a strong message to Council. Over 79% of those who took part said they would be willing to take industrial action.
With nursing staff seeing a real terms pay cut of 14% it is time to send a strong message to all political candidates standing in the upcoming election. He called for “a summer of activity and planned protests”, followed by a ballot of our members in the NHS if the UK Government do not scrap the pay cap. Michael Brown told Congress, “we are not seeking prosperity, we are seeking a fair wage for an undervalued profession”.
He also asked delegates to sign up and become ‘pay champions’ to engage the wider membership.
Ed Freshwater, Mental Health Forum strongly seconding the motion said”, “let’s have our profession back in our hands!”
Graham Revie, Chair of Stewards Committee, gave his complete support for the resolution as he described how nursing staff are working 60 hours a week, living on tax credits and using food banks.
Student member Ellie Mulreany called on the RCN to support students to be involved in the activities as the pay cap was “pushing the future of nursing out of the NHS”.
Delegates were moved by Leslie Green, Liverpool and Knowsley branch’s emotional first address to Congress when he said he was “tired of being undervalued” and challenged Jeremy Hunt to work a shift with him or any of his colleagues.
In conclusion, Michael Brown said that we will be working closely with other unions , supporting students to get involved and will all need to work together to engage the wider membership.
The resolution was passed by a majority with 2 against and 4 abstentions.