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Monday 24th June 2019

Nurses to be balloted over pensions action

11th November 2011

Nurses look set to be balloted over industrial action on proposed changes to public sector pensions.


The Royal College of Nursing council has agreed to ballot members for unprecedented industrial action in January if no further progress is made over pensions.

The RCN wants to continue to address the issue through negotiations but has warned that if those fail by the end of December, the council "will authorise a ballot on industrial action at a meeting in January".

Chair Professor Kath McCourt said the council considered members’ views on the issue and discussed the government’s revised proposals.

The existing plan envisages a switch from a final salary scheme to one based on career averages and raises the retirement age.

However, RCN members are known to be angry about the attacks on their pensions.

“We as nurses would not take an unprecedented step over industrial action lightly, but the feeling is such that we will now move towards a ballot of our members in the New Year if negotiations fail,” she added.

RCN general secretary Peter Carter said: “Nurses and healthcare assistants take their roles incredibly seriously, so the fact that they have asked us to prepare a ballot on industrial action shows something of the strength of feeling out there.

“NHS pensions have already been reformed, and nurses have accepted the need to pay more for their income in retirement. Nurses aren’t asking for the world, but a fair pension, as agreed in 2008, offers nurses a dignified but not lavish provision for their retirement.”


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