Our strike ballot in England is now open until Friday 23 June. We’re asking members on NHS Agenda for Change contracts in England to vote ‘yes’ to strike action. Here’s why:
1. Protect the NHS
In July, we’ll celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NHS. For those 75 years, the NHS has represented the best of the UK – care, compassion, community. Despite years of underfunding, the NHS is still admired by people around the globe. Its core principle of health care free at the point of use is worth fighting for and we know many of you are proud to uphold it. The NHS can’t run without nursing staff, but nursing staff won’t stick around if they’re not paid fairly and given conditions in which they can thrive. To make sure the NHS survives to celebrate its 100th anniversary, we need to fight for those principles. Help us protect the NHS by voting ‘yes’ in the strike ballot and continuing the fight for fair pay and patient safety.
2. We’re stronger together
In the last ballot, you voted for strike action at your individual employer. This time, all members in England vote together. We need at least 50% of all eligible members in England to vote, and for the majority of those who vote to say ‘yes’ to strike action. Using your vote is more important than ever. Either we get a mandate to strike at all NHS workplaces in England, or none of them. If we all raise our voices together, the government can’t ignore the challenges facing our profession. Vote ‘yes’ today to help us reach that vital 50% turnout.
It's time to let ministers know we're not backing down
3. Strike action has already made a difference
When you last voted to take strike action, the UK government insisted it would not negotiate with nursing staff. But in the past six months, we’ve seen RCN members force politicians to the negotiating table. You made that happen. Now, you can make this government improve its offer and start paying nursing staff fairly. It’s time to let ministers know we’re not backing down.
4. Nursing staff deserve more
You deserve a bigger pay rise. Inflation isn’t falling fast enough. The government has underpaid you for years, so a further below-inflation pay rise just adds insult to injury. Tell the government you demand and deserve more by voting ‘yes’ to strike action.
5. Help fix the workforce crisis
We know the NHS has a recruitment and retention crisis. There are a huge 40,000 nursing vacancies in the NHS across England alone and employers are struggling to fill the gaps. Patient safety is suffering as a result, with record waits and nursing staff like you facing unmanageable workloads. We know that better pay and conditions would help the NHS recruit and retain valuable staff, so vote ‘yes’ for strike action and help us make that change.
How to vote
RCN members working on Agenda for Change contracts within the NHS in England are eligible to take part in this ballot, as long as their MyRCN record showed they’re employed in the NHS in England by midnight on 14 May.
Eligible members will receive their ballot papers in the post and must return them by post using the pre-paid envelope as soon as possible to Civica Election Services (our independent ballot scrutineer).
Completed ballot papers must reach Civica by midnight on Friday 23 June to be counted.