Updated guidance on industrial action by other unions

Published on Friday, 07 October 2011 15:51
Posted by Scott Buckler

The Royal College of Nursing has published updated advice for RCN members who may be at work when industrial action is taken by their work colleagues in other unions

The guidance outlines the position of RCN members in respect of particular industrial action, and advises what approaches they should take relating to their own contract of employment, while ensuring that they do not undermine the lawful, industrial action taken by trade union colleagues.

The RCN advice to members is:


  • Members, including agency staff and students, should attend work as normal - failure to do so is likely to be a breach of contract.
  • Members should not cover the work of colleagues who are undertaking industrial action (though they are obliged to carry out any reasonable, contractual, requirements of the employer).
  • Members should avoid any voluntary overtime work to cover the work of those taking industrial action.
  • Members should avoid any bank or agency work to cover the work of those involved in the industrial action.
  • Members should monitor the work environment in respect of health and safety and should, where necessary, report any concerns they might have on the safety of staff, patients or property to their line manager.
  • Any difficulties or concerns arising in delivering care should be reported to your line manager and your RCN representative immediately.
  • Members are encouraged, in their own time, to support the action of colleagues by attending demonstrations or signing petitions etc. either on or off hospital property.

RCN members may be concerned about the forthcoming nationwide day of action by other unions which is due to take place on 30 November in protest about the government’s attack on public service pension,” says RCN Senior Employment Relations Officer Gerry O’Dwyer. “While RCN members will be required to fulfil the requirements of the NMC Code and always act in the best interests of their patients and clients, we are clear that the RCN’s actions will not undermine the actions of our trade union colleagues.”

Source: RCN

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