RCN strike action due to take place in Wales on Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 July has been cancelled following an offer by the Welsh government to undertake further talks with the RCN on the non-pay elements of the pay award announced last month.
The talks follow the RCN’s rejection of the latest pay deal from the Welsh government and two days of strike action earlier this month. The revised pay package was implemented by the Welsh government after the majority of other health unions voted to accept the deal.
Discussions will continue on a number of commitments to enhance staff wellbeing. No further discussion on the pay elements of the award for 2022/23 and 2023/24 will take place. You can remind yourself of the non-pay elements here.
Letters to health boards and trusts notifying them of the upcoming RCN Wales statutory ballot were sent last week (Friday 23 June) to give notice of our intention to ballot our members on strike action for a further six months. This is now on hold during further discussions between RCN Wales and the Welsh government.
RCN Wales Director Helen Whyley said: “Our strike action in June has clearly been effective as the Welsh government has listened to RCN members' voices about issues facing nursing in Wales and has reached out to RCN Wales for official discussions on non-pay elements of working conditions. For this reason, we are pausing the planned strikes for July and the statutory ballot asking members to vote on more industrial action for the rest of the year.
“I have been clear that if Welsh government reached out for discussion, we would halt our planned action. Industrial action continues to be a last resort for nursing staff, and I have heard their stories of the personal sacrifice they make every day fighting for safe care for their patients that pushed them to vote for strike action. The pressure put on the Welsh government by our members has been key to these talks being moved forward.
"Our elected members have agreed that next month’s ballot launch and strike action should be put on hold and that we should return to official talks on behalf our members in Wales. The Welsh government has the power the end this ongoing dispute.
“We are hopeful that the discussions with the Welsh government will result in significant positive outcomes for NHS nursing staff in Wales that will improve their terms and conditions of employment in addition to the pay award that has been implemented. These latest discussions will be time-limited and the RCN will update its members on the outcomes from these talks in due course.”
IMPORTANT ACTION: please check your RCN membership details are up to date including your email address, address and workplace information, so we can send you important updates about our Fair Pay for Nursing campaign. If we do not have the correct details for you, you will miss out on essential developments. Check and update your details now in MyRCN.
What is happening in the rest of the UK?
We have just announced the results of our statutory ballot in England where our fight for fair pay continues without a new strike mandate.
The announcement of dates for strike action in Scotland was paused in mid-January after the Scottish government reopened pay negotiations with the RCN and other health trade unions. RCN members in Scotland voted to accept the Scottish government’s offer for 2023/24.
In Northern Ireland, staff and members continue to support colleagues in this phased, UK-wide dispute. In the absence of a devolved administration, decisions on further strike action in Northern Ireland will be taken in the coming weeks if there is no movement from the UK government to commence negotiations on pay.