Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Unison members are most likely to walk out


Unison members would be the most likely to strike if they were unhappy with their working conditions, Nursing Times’ survey has revealed.

Of the 900 Unison members responding, 38 per cent said they would consider going on strike, compared with 26 per cent of all respondents.

If there are attacks on nurses’ pensions the mood could change

This outstripped the 37 per cent of GMB members, 33 per cent of Unite members and 24 per cent of Royal College of Nursing members who said they would strike.

Introducing Nursing Times Learning

Online training units, written and reviewed by experts. Earn two hours’ CPD and a personalised certificate for your portfolio.

Subscribers get five FREE learning units and non-subscribers can access each learning unit for £10 + VAT.

Click on the topics below to get started:

While RCN members emerged as the least militant, the results of the survey point to a hardening in the resolve of members, who have traditionally been anti-strike.

Only one in 10 respondents from the traditionally more cautious college ruled out any industrial action or protest.

But RCN head of employment relations Josie Irwin told Nursing Times: “The mood about pay is more muted resignation than militancy. However, if there are attacks on nurses’ pensions this mood could change.”

The RCN is the largest organisation representing nurses, acting on behalf of 400,000 people, including student nurses and healthcare support workers.

Unite lead officer for nursing Barrie Brown agreed pensions were a big concern, but said a range of factors were fuelling  nurses’ anger, including increased workloads, service cuts, pay freezes and changes to terms and conditions.

He said the union was “treading lightly” at the moment but was in the process of developing a wider campaign around the white paper, NHS cuts and privatisation.

Unison is currently consulting its members on their concerns about service cuts and their terms and conditions.


Readers' comments (5)

  • But the pathetic RCN has a no strike rule anyway, so does that make a difference?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • mike; watch this space you ant seen nothing yet, dont grab the bull by the hornes until you now which way its going

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I'm not sure what level of 'nurse' has been used in these statistics - Registered or non-registered.

    But as a Registered Nurse who is a member of Unison - I would use a Walk out as an absolute last resort.

    I feel we would make a greater impact by staying in work and carrying out the terms of our contract / job description to the letter and doing so within our paid working hours. That way, what we do as 'good will' would actually be measurable and transparant to all.

    If we all walk - this chance of scientific measurement is lost and our assertion of 'good will' remains entirely anecdotal.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Martin Gray

    Far too many 'sheep in nurse clothing' to make a difference unless there is a cohesive action. That would also mean that some nurses would have to go against their own principles and beliefs, but I strongly believe such a sacrifice would be of benefit to all. Strong action has always brought results, and if we all truly believe we have to bring about changes then that is what we must do.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well said Martin. I think if we can at least change a few of those Sheep's minds on here, then that at least is a start!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.