19/09/2019

NI Nurses To Be Balloted On Strike Action

Nurses in Northern Ireland are to be balloted on possible strike action over the ongoing pay dispute and staffing crisis.

The ballot will begin on 09 October, the first of its kind for the region.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) voted unanimously for the vote to go ahead, meaning all member nurses will be asked whether they wish to take industrial action, up to and including strikes.

There are currently almost 3,000 unfilled nursing posts across the system, with a similar level of vacancies in nursing homes, according to the union.

Pay for nursing staff within the health service in Northern Ireland continues to fall behind England, Scotland and Wales. The real value of local nurses' pay has fallen by 15% over the last eight years, whilst the cost of securing agency staff continues to rise.
News Image
Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland, Pat Cullen said it is clear that nurses can't continue to work under the current conditions.

"The palpable sense of disillusionment and even anger amongst RCN members in Northern Ireland over staffing and pay continues to grow," Ms Cullen said.

"We all know that nurses in Northern Ireland can go anywhere in the world to work. To date, pay discussions have been unsuccessful and there is now nothing to keep our newly-qualified nurses at home. As a profession, we are no longer prepared to tolerate the risk that low staffing levels pose to patients, nursing staff, and the people of Northern Ireland.

"No nurse that I know would ever want to take industrial action but we have simply been left with no choice – it's a sad day for nursing in Northern Ireland when it has come to this."



(JG/MH)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

01 August 2002
Overseas nurses recruited to fill NI shortfall
The Royal College of Nursing has said that the shortage of nurses in Northern Ireland hospitals has forced health officials to try to recruit staff from abroad. Latest figures from the College revealed that one in every 16 nurses in the province is from outside the British Isles.
23 March 2018
Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Visit Northern Ireland
Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle are on their first official visit together in Northern Ireland. The couple visited the Crown Liquor Saloon Bar and staff from the National Trust told them about some of the history of the bar.
13 June 2005
The 2005 Birthday Honours List for Northern Ireland
The full list of recipients of honours in the 2005 Birthday Honours list for Northern Ireland is as follows: Knighthood: Mr Hugh Orde OBE, Chief Constable, Police Service of Northern Ireland - for services to Northern Ireland. CBE: Mr Robert David Stewart Campbell, Belfast - For Political and public service.
18 June 2018
NIEA Reveal Top Items Being Fly Tipped Across Northern Ireland
Tyres, asbestos and construction rubble are among the top items of commercial trash being tipped across Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) has revealed. The latest statistics from the NIEA revealed that items from house clearances such as white goods and furniture are also among the most frequently dumped items.
18 June 2018
Online Voter Registration Now Live In Northern Ireland
Online voter registration is now available to people in Northern Ireland. Online registration has been available since 2014 in all other regions of the UK, but NI continued to require that paper forms be filled out and returned to an election office. But now, people not currently registered will be able to complete the process online.