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Consultative ballot - WOW what a turnout!

Nicky Hughes 23 Sep 2021

RCN Wales’ Associate Director of Nursing Nicky Hughes reacts to the result of the consultative ballot carried out with NHS Wales members on the announced 3% pay award

Firstly, I want to say a big THANKYOU to all of you who voted in the consultative ballot that closed on 13 September 2021. We had the best turnout ever and 93.9% of you told us that the 3% pay award from Welsh Government for NHS staff who are employed on Agenda for Change contracts is UNACCEPTABLE. 

I would like to give a shout out to all our members who were active in the ‘Summer of Action’ – what a difference that made. That includes members who had conversations with their peers; members who ordered materials from the RCN website and went round leaflet dropping and canvasing and those who had a photo opportunity with the digital van and RCN Wales Billboard in Wrexham. 

In addition, I would also like to give a shout out to our accredited representatives and elected members of branches and the RCN Wales Board who worked tirelessly to engage with the membership in their local areas. You may have also seen me and my team out and about through the summer canvassing outside NHS Wales hospitals – it was great to talk with members and the general public.  The support we had for the Summer of Action segment of the ‘Fair Pay for Nursing’ campaign was phenomenal.

Your support and activity made such a difference so a big THANKYOU!

So – where are we now?

Your RCN elected members are now looking at next steps. Rest assured, RCN Wales Board will make decisions on your behalf that reflect what our members in Wales want. Once the Board have decided on next steps, these will be ratified through the RCN Trade Union Committee (Jackie Davies is your elected member representing Wales) and RCN Council (Richard Jones MBE is your elected member representing Wales). We will update you on all decisions made. 

In the meantime, whilst decisions go through the appropriate RCN governance channels, please continue to talk about pay and campaign, as we need even more members to vote should this go to an indicative ballot. You can make a difference. Keep up to date with the latest information on the Fair Pay for Nursing – RCN Wales website.

This is the beginning of a journey that we go on together – your input is essential, and you are key to getting this campaign over the line. We need to ensure that the Welsh Government knows that we are angry about this 3% pay award - particularly after the last 18 months, and with the current 3.7% inflation rate and the National Insurance levy which totally negates any award given. They need to know that we are serious about nurses needing more pay and to be respected for the roles we do. 

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the recent ballot and our pay campaign. You can tweet me – @nichughes1 – or email


Nicky Hughes

Associate Director of Nursing (Employment Relations) RCN Wales

Nicky has 30 years experience of working in the NHS in the specialities of inpatient acute medicine and the community setting, where she managed frontline services such as District Nursing, Prison Nursing, and those caring for the homeless and asylum seekers. In addition she commissioned care from the nursing home sector.

Page last updated - 21/02/2022