75.6 per cent of the RCN’s membership employed by Manx Care, took part in the ballot between 7 and 26 July which asked members about the most recent pay offer and whether they would be willing to take industrial action.
Of those who took part, 83.1 per cent of respondents voted that the 4 per cent pay award for 2021/22 and 4 per cent pay offer for 2022/23, was unacceptable.
Members were also asked an indicative question about whether they would be willing to take industrial action. 55.5% of members voted that yes, they would consider taking action with 45.5% saying no, they would not.
The ballot results will determine the next steps in the RCN’s campaign for fair pay for nursing.
Trade Unions on the Isle of Man have been in negotiations since last May (2021) with Manx Care presenting the Unions with several offers ranging from the original 1 per cent for 2021/22. Earlier this year, nursing staff were awarded 4 per cent however this was rejected in an earlier ballot and still open for negotiation. Staff have also been offered an additional 4 per cent for 22/23 which is part of these continuous negotiations. The original staff-side proposal was a 15 per cent consolidated pay increase plus a one-off payment.
Carmel O’Boyle, Chair of the RCN’s North West Regional Board, said: “The result of this second ballot and the tremendous turnout, demonstrates the anger and upset our membership is still feeling, despite receiving a 4 per cent award earlier this year.
“Our members want recognition for their skill, expertise and immense contribution they have made and continue to make to the local health population. They are over stretched and over worked, often working on good-will. It’s just not good enough and we need the government and Manx Care to step up and show how much they value them.
“As I’ve said before, the Isle of Man has huge potential to make itself attractive for nursing and other healthcare staff to go to work however, the pay and conditions are a huge barrier to this. An even lower pay offer than the rest of England is just insulting.
“Something needs to change to ensure a sustainable workforce, there’s too much reliance on agency workers. With inflation and the cost of living putting immense pressure on families, especially on the Isle of Man which is higher than most of England.
“Industrial action takes many forms and is always a last resort but we need to make sure the nursing voice is heard. The safe and effective care of patients is paramount, and we would hope that the public understand the significance of this pay matter to prevent a local health service crisis.”
The results of the ballot have now been fed back to Manx Care and the IoM health minister. The RCN NW Board will now meet to discuss and determine next steps in the coming weeks.