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RCN leader urges members to vote as ballot nears close

With just days to go until the NHS strike ballot for England closes, RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen has warned that, unless enough members send their ballot papers by post, the RCN's strike will hit the 'end of the road'

By law, at least 50% of members working for the NHS in England must vote in the ballot for the RCN to be able to keep pressure on government that started last year. That’s equivalent to around 150,000 RCN nurses and support workers. For any action to then take place, the majority of them must say ‘yes’ to strikes. But currently, tens of thousands of votes must be cast.

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‘Your vote, no matter how you vote, could be the difference between us being able to influence the UK government to award a higher pay rise for NHS nursing staff, or not,’ said Ms Cullen.

‘Not voting at all only helps government – they will wrongly conclude that nursing staff are content for themselves, the NHS and patients.’

According to the RCN, the Government's consistent refusal to explore or allow secure online voting risks bringing an end to the RCN's strike unless nurses and support workers find and send back papers in the post. They should be posted immediately in the free envelope provided to stand the best chance of being received by Friday 23 June.

‘We must beat the government at its own game, pull out all the stops and get those ballot papers back in time by the post service,’ added Ms Cullen.

‘If we miss this vital opportunity, our action has hit the end of the road.'