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Unison members favour industrial action

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Unison members have voted in favour of industrial action over the government's decision on nursing pay.

NHS workers in the union were balloted over the issue of the NHS pay freeze. They were asked whether they were prepared to strike and whether they were prepared to take action short of a strike. Of those who voted, 68 per cent were in favour of a strike, while 88 per cent said they were prepared to commit to other kinds of industrial action.

The RCM has balloted its members on industrial action for the first time. The RCN has not formally consulted its members on how they feel about industrial action. However, Peter Carter urged members not to strike at the RCN Congress in June.

When asked for a comment on the result of the Unison ballot, a spokesperson for the RCN said: 'This is a consequence of five years of pay restraint and continual attacks on the staff who have kept the NHS going through years of understaffing and increasing demand.

'The Government must finally show that it values and appreciates nursing staff instead of claiming that the only way to protect the NHS is to attack the very people who keep it going. The argument that it is a choice between safe staffing levels or a fair wage for staff is both disingenuous and disrespectful.

'The RCN will continue to fight the government's actions through protest, lobbying and the ballot box.'

The result of the RCM ballot is due at the end of this month.

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