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Unison members are most likely to walk out

  • 5 Comments

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.

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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.

  • 5 Comments

Readers' comments (5)

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

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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