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RCN Wales strike action to go ahead despite majority of unions accepting NHS pay offer

24 May 2023

We remain in dispute with the Welsh government after RCN Wales members rejected the pay offer.

University Hospital of Wales picket line

Yesterday (23 May) at a meeting involving all health unions that make up the NHS Wales Partnership Forum Trade Union Group, RCN Wales voted to reject the pay offer for NHS staff in Wales. The offer was accepted by the majority of other unions.

Read the Welsh government’s statement.

As a result of this vote, the Welsh government will now implement the pay offer and RCN Wales members will receive the additional payments for both 2022/23 and 2023/24.

Read the offer in full.

However, the RCN in Wales remains in dispute with the Welsh government following the most recent rejection of the pay offer by our members. This pay deal does not go far enough to reward nursing staff fairly and support them with the spiralling cost of living. Therefore, strike action planned for 6 and 7 June and 12 and 13 July will go ahead unless the Minister for Health and Social Services re-opens meaningful pay negotiations immediately.

Helen Whyley, RCN Wales Director, said:

“RCN Wales remains in a formal dispute with the Welsh government over NHS pay after a majority of members rejected the pay offer.

“I have written to the Minister for Health and Social Services today, seeking to urgently re-enter negotiations, and unless that happens, members of RCN Wales will be on the picket lines once again from next month.

“I respect those, in our membership and in other unions, who voted to accept, but this was not the view of the majority of our membership.

“The decision to take strike action is not taken lightly by us or our membership. Nursing staff are the largest part of the NHS workforce and they require an offer that matches their true value.

The voice of nursing needs to be heard once and for all, before the profession and patient care is depleted any further.”

Strike action will run for the duration of the day shift on each day and derogations will be tighter than those in place during strike action in December 2022. This will mean that services with no night shift will have no derogations, 24 hour services will be derogated to night duty and critical care areas will be fully derogated. All members employed where there is a mandate to strike will be called on to take strike action on these days. Please read our Frequently Asked Questions on our website to make sure you are fully prepared for upcoming strike action.

Our statutory industrial action ballot for more strike action in Wales will open on 3 July. If eligible members vote in favour, exceeding the legal threshold for strike action (50% majority), we’ll have a mandate to conduct strikes for a further six months.

RCN Wales staff will be visiting workplaces across Wales to talk to you about strike action and answer your questions. We will be posting when and where we are visiting your workplace on our website and our social media.

Page last updated - 22/10/2023