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NHS pay in Wales: indicative ballot on industrial action opens on 4 November

20 Oct 2021

The ballot will test members’ appetite for taking this next step in our fight for fair pay

RCN members working for the NHS in Wales on Agenda for Change contracts are to be asked whether they’d be willing to take industrial action in an indicative ballot launching on 4 November.   

The ballot will ask eligible members whether they’re willing to take any form of industrial action, such as strike action or action short of strike, or whether they’d be willing to support colleagues to take industrial action even if they wouldn’t take action themselves.

The result of the indicative ballot will not formally authorise industrial action but will be used to inform next steps in our fight for fair pay. The RCN is clear that industrial action is always a last resort, but we’re also clear that the current staffing crisis in the NHS is causing unacceptable risk to patients and staff.

The ballot will be run by Civica Election Services with voting open from 4 to 30 November. Eligible members will receive their ballot email from To make sure the ballot reaches the right people, members’ details must be correct in MyRCNCheck your details now.

The ballot is being launched after 94% of members working for the NHS in Wales who voted in our previous consultative ballot said their 3% pay award for 2021-22 is unacceptable.

RCN Wales Director, Helen Whyley said: “I urge all members to use their vote to say whether they are willing to take industrial action. Fair pay for nurses and safe and effective care for patients are our priority. Investment in the nursing workforce is needed now more than ever.”

RCN Wales Board Chair, Richard Jones MBE added “The anger and frustration of our members is clear. Nursing staff deserve a fair pay rise. The 3% pay rise proposed by the Welsh government falls below projected inflation and living costs in Wales and the RCN believes it is nothing short of an insult.

"Just as it’s our responsibility as a Royal College to defend patient safety, it’s our responsibility as a trade union to fight for our members.

"From November 4 to November 30 we are asking our members to tell us whether they believe industrial action is needed.” 

You can find out more about how industrial action is initiated, organised and safely carried out by reading our Industrial Action Handbook.  

Across the UK, our fight for fair pay continues and won’t stop until our safety critical profession is respected and protected.

In Scotland, members working for the NHS are already voting on what industrial action they’d be willing to take over pay in an indicative ballot that closes on 8 November.

In England, the RCN will open an indicative ballot on industrial action on 4 November.

In Northern Ireland, a formal pay announcement for health and social care staff is still awaited.

Our Fair Pay for Nursing campaign aims to secure a fully-funded 12.5% pay increase for all nursing staff covered by Agenda for Change terms. How governments in the UK respond to this demand will indicate what they believe nursing staff across the independent sector deserve too.

It’s time to pay nursing staff fairly. Join our fight.

Page last updated - 03/04/2022