The RCN in Northern Ireland has today launched a ballot of members working within the HSC, asking whether you are prepared to take industrial action, including strike action, in support of safe and effective care in Northern Ireland.
This ballot embraces measures to deliver safe nurse staffing and fair pay for Northern Ireland nurses.
Over the next few days, if you are an RCN member working on an Agenda for Change contract in Northern Ireland, you will receive a ballot paper and supporting information from Electoral Reform Services Ltd. It is essential that you take a few moments to read the information, cast your vote and post it in the pre-paid envelope provided. You can find out more information about the ballot and the RCN’s safe and effective care campaign in Northern Ireland here.
In order to take effective action to support safe nurse staffing and deliver pay equality for Northern Ireland nurses, we need a high turnout and both the RCN UK Council and the RCN Northern Ireland Board is advocating a “yes” vote for industrial action, including strike action.
There are currently around 3,000 unfilled nursing posts in the HSC, whilst nurses’ pay in Northern Ireland has fallen far below levels in the rest of the UK. The RCN believes that this now poses an unacceptable risk to public safety, as well as constituting a lack of respect and equality for nurses here. We know that many Northern Ireland nurses have had enough and believe the time is right to take action. The ballot gives you the opportunity to do just that.
This is your chance to use your voice to help deliver safe and effective nursing care in Northern Ireland. Please make sure that you complete and return your ballot paper.
RCN Northern Ireland Board Chair