- 03 July 2023
- 3 min read
Nurse Pay & Strikes: Insufficient Numbers Vote For Further StrikesSubscribe To Advice
Nurses in England have failed to vote in sufficient numbers for further strike action over pay and conditions. But is this the end of the strikes, or just a delay?
With a turnout of 43.4% of Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members, the ballot failed to reach the required 50% mark.
This result rubber stamps the pay rise of 5% agreed earlier this year, but it hasn’t ended the debate over nursing pay and the associated staffing crisis facing the NHS.
What Happens Next In The Pay Debate?
The RCN and Unite had already rejected the government’s pay rise of 5%, along with a one-off payment of at least £1655.
With other unions approving the rise, this rejection wasn’t enough to prevent the increase being agreed. However, it left some doubt over what happens next, with the prospect of more strikes on the horizon.
However, this latest news could put the pay debate to bed – at least for now.
It’s safe to assume that this ballot doesn’t necessarily spell the end for strike action, but merely a delay.
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How Is The Staffing Crisis Influencing Pay Demands & Further Union Plans?
According to recent research by Unite, in the last 12 months more than half of NHS workers have considered leaving the NHS.
Meanwhile, a recent study by NHS England has found that the NHS is currently operating with 154,000 fewer full-time staff than it needs. The same study predicts that this number could grow to 571,000 if current trends continue.
There are various other measures of the staffing crisis, but these two indicators alone suggest that the situation is already dire.
To put it simply, this is why unions won’t stop their efforts in campaigning for higher rates of pay and further strike action if needed.
Staffing challenges are a result of many challenges, but it’s widely agreed that pay is always a fundamental factor in attracting and retaining nurses.
So it’s safe to assume that this ballot doesn’t necessarily spell the end for strike action, but merely a delay.
Have Your Say
Do you support further strike action by nurses?
As always, we want to hear from you, our community of nurses.