Following the announcement of an imposed pay award by Health Minister Simon Hamilton on Friday 8 March 2016, the RCN Northern Ireland Board convened an extraordinary meeting this afternoon.
Following the meeting, RCN Northern Ireland Director Janice Smyth said: “Board members considered the imposed pay award, the manner in which the Minister made this announcement and the tone of the announcement. They have considered the views and opinions expressed by members who contacted the RCN over the weekend, and taken account of the detail of the Minister’s announcement.
“Nurses are angry and frustrated that the Minister has singled out nurses when the pay award applies to 50,000 health and social care staff and perceive that he has blatantly misrepresented the situation in relation to nurses’ pay.
“The trade unions wrote to Simon Hamilton on 15 May 2015 requesting a meeting. A meeting scheduled for September was cancelled, rescheduled and took place on 16 December.
“The Royal College of Nursing is disappointed at the lack of leadership and respect demonstrated by the Minister in relation to HSC staff pay.
“Today, members of the RCN Northern Ireland Board voted unanimously to consult RCN Council seeking authorisation to ballot RCN members in Northern Ireland in relation to the imposed pay award announced by the Minister and taking industrial action short of strike action.”