The majority of nurses would be willing to take industrial action if they receive an unsatisfactory pay deal this year, according to a survey.
A poll of more than 1,000 nurses for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) revealed that 62% respondents said they would be willing to take some form of industrial action, such as refusing to work unpaid overtime, take on extra work or go on strike if they received an unsatisfactory pay award.
The government has recommended the Pay Review Body offers nurses a 1.5% pay deal.
The 2007-08 recommended pay award is due any day now, and the RCN is urging the review body to give nurses a deal that reflects the cost of living.
Nine out of 10 nurses (90%) said their cost of living has increased faster than any increase in pay over the past year, and 86% said they would consider a 1.5% pay award unfair, given the current rate of inflation running at 3%.
Dr Peter Carter, RCN general secretary, said: “Ministers should be under no illusions – though industrial action is never a course of action we would take lightly – the RCN is not in the business of accepting a pay cut for our members.
“That so many nurses are considering industrial action is a sign of how desperate they have become.”