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RCN Northern Ireland 

RCN members in Northern Ireland are currently undertaking a programme of industrial action in pursuit of safe and effective care for the people of Northern Ireland. This involves industrial action short of strike action, as well as strike action, to demand measures promoting safe nurse staffing and pay equality.

The programme of industrial action follows a recent ballot in which 96% of RCN members who returned their ballot papers voted to take industrial action and 92% voted to take strike action. The ballot involved RCN members working under Agenda for Change terms and conditions within the Health and Social Care service [HSC] in Northern Ireland.


The RCN has announced arrangements to take forward industrial action, including strike action, across HSC services in Northern Ireland. You can find out more here.

RCN Northern Ireland Director Pat Cullen said: “The last thing that any nurse wants is to have to take industrial action. However, as we have stated on many occasions in recent weeks and months, nurses now feel that we have no choice. This was demonstrated clearly in our recent ballot. With around 2,800 vacant nursing posts in the system, record levels of expenditure on agency staff to try to plug the gaps, and nurses’ pay continuing to fall further and further behind the rest of the UK, nurses have had enough. The RCN has been raising these issues for many years, but nobody in the corridors of power has listened.

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About our industrial action

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Safe staffing saves lives - support nursing staff in Northern Ireland

Please show your support and sign our petition to demand safe staffing and equal pay for nursing staff in Northern Ireland.

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Important information

When signing our petition, you may notice that there is an option to contribute to Change.org and promote their petitions to a wider audience. You are not under any obligation to contribute to this and we wanted to be clear that the money does not go to the Royal College of Nursing. We are not being charged for the cost of hosting the petition. Further information can be found here.


  • RCN Northern Ireland, 17 Windsor Avenue, Belfast, BT9 6EE
  • 028 90 384 600 or 0345 772 6100
  • ni.board@rcn.org.uk

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Page last updated - 06/12/2019