Your web browser is outdated and may be insecure

The RCN recommends using an updated browser such as Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome


Act now to protect your freedom to strike

Email your MP to demand they vote against strike restrictions for hospital staff.

RCN member on picket line

Exactly one year on since the start of our historic nursing strikes, we’re urging MPs to oppose new regulations related to the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act. The regulations are set to be debated and voted on in the House of Commons shortly and will severely limit the freedom to strike for our members working in hospitals. Measures have already been passed that affect people working in other sectors, including nursing staff employed by ambulance services. 

It takes just a few minutes to contact your MP using the letter template on the RCN website. Anyone can use the template, including members of the public who are not nursing staff. 

Email your MP now.

RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen said RCN members need the freedom to strike when governments stop listening. 

“You have the right to advocate for change in your workplace, and industrial action is a powerful tool. No one who wants to take part in a lawful strike should be forced to work against their wishes,” she said. “This is a fundamental freedom worth fighting for together.” 

We’ve consistently and vocally opposed the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act from the outset. We’ve campaigned throughout the parliamentary process, issuing briefings to urge MPs and peers to vote against the act, and now, these regulations that directly affect a large proportion of our members.  

When the legislation was passing through parliament, ministers told nurses from the despatch box that the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill was "not about nurses.”

We always feared this was untrue, as we stated at the time. These new regulations provide further proof of this – as nursing staff working within hospitals are explicitly within scope of the regulations related to hospital workers. We’re asking the government to stick to its word and not impose further draconian measures that limit our members’ freedom to strike. 

Pat added: “Industrial action is always our last resort but this malicious attempt to curtail freedoms will not help end our dispute. 

 “Years of underfunding, real terms pay cuts and unsafe staffing levels have decimated our health service. Ministers should focus on solving the problem at hand, rather than trying to silence hardworking staff raising the alarm.  To limit our ability to fight for the changes patients need is unacceptable.” 

Our campaigning is far from over. There will remain more opportunities to influence, whatever the outcome in the upcoming votes on the regulations. Email your MP today


Urgent workforce intervention needed as nursing applications fall by 27% in 3 years

Government-funded nursing degrees, introduction of maintenance grants and a loan-forgiveness scheme could all support the next generation of nursing staff.


COVID inquiry: failure to invest in nursing workforce left every care setting chronically understaffed

Pandemic response was deeply flawed, stemming from a failure at the very top of governments to plan, prepare and resource health and care services effectively, says RCN.


King’s Speech response: policy programme is step towards nursing reset and renewal

RCN welcomes positive moves including the commitment to repeal anti-trade union legislation, but measures to increase recruitment and retention in the nursing workforce and eradicate corridor care must follow soon.


RCN appoints permanent General Secretary and Chief Executive

Professor Nicola Ranger takes up the role with immediate effect.


RCN responds to NMC culture review

The nursing regulator must take immediate and ongoing action to resolve its culture and related performance issues.


RCN calls on new government to work in partnership to tackle national health emergency

Our letter to Sir Keir Starmer says nursing staff have the solutions to overcome the significant challenges facing health and social care. Investment in staff must be his priority as PM. 

{{ article.tag }}

{{ article.Title }}

{{ article.Summary }}