Industrial action on NHS pay

Following the insulting offer of a 3% pay increase to NHS workers in England and Wales, health unions are consulting their members on whether to accept this figure, or take further action, to demand a better offer on pay. Keep Our NHS Public believes that a below-inflation 3% “increase” is totally inadequate.

Most unions representing NHS workers in have now held their initial round of consultations with members, and are deciding what steps to take next. Use the list below to find out the state of play in your union.

The information below refers mainly to England and Wales; consultations in Scotland (where the Scottish government made a different offer on pay) were carried out earlier this year, and consultations in Northern Ireland have not yet opened.

If you are an NHS worker and belong to a union, use the information below to make sure you vote!

Terminology explainer: a consultative ballot is the first, non-binding ballot of members held by a union to gauge members’ feelings on potential industrial action. This is sometimes followed by a second non-binding ballot, called an indicative ballot. After one or two non-binding ballots the union then holds a final ballot; unlike consultative or indicative ballots, which can be run by unions in the way that they prefer, this final ballot is legally obligatory and must be conducted in a way that meets certain legal requirements.

Find your union:


Unite’s initial consultative ballot returned an overwhelming vote to REJECT the pay offer both in England and in Wales. The union is now planning to proceed to an indicative ballot, with results to be announced soon.

Latest information (England):

Latest information (Wales):


After a consultative ballot voted to reject the pay offer, UNISON is now running an indicative ballot. The union wants at least 45% of members to take part in the indicative ballot in order to demonstrate whether members would support industrial action. The indicative ballot is now open and will run until 5 December 2021. All eligible members will be emailed a secure personal link to vote online. (It is important to update the contact details that UNISON has on record for you if these may be out-of-date.)

More information:


GMB is currently holding a final ballot on industrial action in England, afters its members overwhelming rejected the pay offer in a consultative ballot. The current ballot will run from 10 November to 15 December. Members will receive a ballot in the post, which they then fill in and return. (It is important to make sure that the address that GMB has on record for you is up-to-date.)

More information about the ballot and answers to FAQs can be found here:

Royal College of Nursing

The RCN is preparing to launch an indicative ballot in England and Wales, after its members overwhelmingly rejected the pay offer in a first, consultative ballot. The second (indicative) ballot in England and in Wales opened on 4 November and will close on 30 November. In Scotland, the second (indicative) ballot opened on 12 October and will close on 8 November. In all cases members will receive a ballot email from [email protected]. RCN members should make sure their details are correct in their MyRCN account to ensure that they receive their ballot email. (Check your details now)

More information:

British Medical Association

The BMA has undertaken two consultative exercises, which are now closed. A ballot of consultants showed over 80% voting to REJECT the pay offer. Junior medics (who were excluded from the 3% pay offer altogether) have also been balloted, with results expected soon.

More information:

Royal College of Podiatry

The Royal College of Podiatry’s consultative exercise is now closed. 52.5% of respondents in England voted to ACCEPT the pay offer, as did 51.6% of respondents in Wales.

Royal College of Midwives (RCM)

The Royal College of Midwives’ consultative exercise is now closed, with results to be announced soon.

British Dietetic Association

The BDA is running its ballot by email – if you are an eligible member, you should have received an email with more information. You can update your contact details at, and contact the BDA for support by calling 0121 200 8080, or emailing [email protected].

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy consultation is now closed, with results to be announced soon.

Society of Radiographers

The Society of Radiographers consultation is now closed, with results to be announced soon.