RCN warns it will ballot over pensions unless government enters meaningful negotiations


Nurses across the UK will be showing their solidarity with strikers on November 30th.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will not be striking themselves that day because they chose to await the outcome of government negotiations over pensions before balloting, but they are encouraging members to support the protest by joining demonstrations, events and rallies before or after their working day, on their lunch break or if they are not on duty that day.

However, they have warned the government that a strike ballot is inevitable unless talks deliver a fair deal for nursing staff.

Commenting after a meeting between the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, and NHS trade unions, RCN Director of Nursing and Service Delivery Janet Davies said: “We have spelt out to the Secretary of State the anger that nurses up and down the country are feeling at the proposed pension changes. We made it very clear that their pensions have already been reformed and are far from generous, and that targeting them now is both unjust and unnecessary.

“We will continue to engage in dialogue with the government but are disappointed by their inflexible approach so far and as previously stated, a ballot on industrial action is inevitable unless negotiations deliver a fair deal for the frontline. RCN members are also preparing to support colleagues on the 30 November day of action by joining protests, demonstrations, joint events and rallies.”

Members of five unions – ATL, NUT, PCS, UCU and UNISON – have already voted “Yes” to strike action, with a further 14 unions – AEP, Aspect, BAOT, CSP, EIS, FDA, GMB, MiP, NASUWT, Prospect, SCP, SoR, UCAC and Unite – balloting their members. The POA, whose members are denied the right to take strike action, says it will take action anyway.

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