This first national ballot in the college’s 91-year history is designed to ‘take the temperature’ of RCN members over the government’s decision to stage the 2.5 per cent pay award between April and November this year.
Government’s in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already given their nurses the full award, back-dated to April.
The ballot paper will also ask what type of industrial action nurses would consider in their workplace that would not harm patient care.
The YouGov poll of 2,300 people across Great Britain showed 82 per cent felt the staged pay award for nurses was unfair.
Dr Peter Carter, RCN general secretary, said nurses would be heartened by the support from the general public.
‘We hope the government will talk and work with us so industrial action can be avoided. Without a fair pay deal for nurses we can not expect to attract much needed new blood to the profession, let alone keep those more experienced nurses in the health service,’ he said.
The ballot will close on 6 August and the results will be published the following week.
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