Hundreds of thousands of nurses in England and Wales will vote next month on whether to strike in a row over pay.
The strike ballot will open on 15 September and run until 13 October, said the Royal College of Nursing, the biggest union representing nurses.
RCN’s Wales director Helen Whyley told Times Radio that more than 250,000 nurses would be balloted. If they vote to strike, it would be the first walkout in the RCN’s 106-year history.
The union says a £1,400 pay rise announced by the government last month is not enough to cushion the impact of soaring consumer prices. UK inflation has hit a 40-year high of 9.4% and is set to rise above 13% in the coming months, pushed higher by spiralling energy and food costs.
Carol Popplestone, chair of RCN Council, said in a message to union members: “This year’s pay award does not help you with the rising cost of living. It will do nothing to help to recruit or retain more nursing staff where you work and will not keep patients safe.”