North Wales Branch Official's passionate Q&A about RCN Pay Campaign

8 Sep 2021

The 3% pay award is not acceptable and I think it’s a huge insult to nurses who have given their all in the last 18 months.

RCN safety rep Billy Nichols
What is your role?

I am the Welsh Representative on the UK stewards committee.

How long have you been nursing?

I started an apprenticeship in 1991, where I learned on the job.

What field of nursing do you practice? 

I’ve always done Adult Nursing but specialised in trauma orthopaedics.

What is your view on the current 3% award? 

The 3% pay award is not acceptable and I think it’s a huge insult to nurses who have given their all in the last 18 months. Other countries such as France have rewarded their nursing staff for doing a fantastic job and we have just insulted ours with the 3% pay award. Currently our supermarkets have a few empty shelves because of a shortage of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers. Apparently, we are losing 2000 drivers a week but we are also losing registered nurses and it’s not being reported. Losing nurses is the real crisis. This country has its priorities wrong. 

What are your thoughts on the ballot?

The ballot is very important because of the stages of trade union legislation in this country, we have to go to a consultative ballot before we can go onto a formal ballot. I just hope people are engaging and having their voice. At every opportunity, I’m engaging with members I am urging everyone to take part in the ballot whether they are members of the RCN or not we need everyone’s voice. 

Have you voted and how did you find it?

As soon as I received the email, I voted immediately to say it was truly unacceptable. I found the voting process very easy and I was determined my vote was going to be counted.

How do we move forward from this and what’s your vision?

My vision and hope would be that we do go forward to some kind of industrial action. This consultative ballot will allow us to go forward to a formal ballot if our members vote that this pay award is unacceptable. 

What do you think of the Summer of Action?

There has been a positive response from our members, who have engaged with us during our events in North Wales.  It is important for all of our members to be engage in any forthcoming action on pay. 

Do you think social media has helped?

Social media has been invaluable, especially with the COVID-19 rules and regulations that are currently still in place.  All of our social media platforms have helped us to spread the word about the Fair Pay for Nursing campaign. 

Page last updated - 08/09/2021