Majority of healthcare workers unaware of vote on NHS pay

Nearly eighty percent of NHS workers are unaware of the vote and many have chosen not to vote because they find the deal “confusing”.

Matt Bodell
25 May 2018
NHS Payslip

A survey has revealed that the majority of healthcare workers in England are unaware of the vote on NHS pay.

A survey completed by NursingNotes has revealed that nearly eighty percent of healthcare workers are unaware of the need to vote on the proposed NHS pay deal and many have chosen not to vote because they find the deal “confusing”.


The pay deal includes significant changes to the agenda for change pay structure which will affect the majority of healthcare workers.

The survey of 638 healthcare workers in England revealed that 76% of NHS staff are unaware of the need to vote over the proposed NHS pay deal and, shockingly, only 61% of those that are aware have exercised their right to vote.

The deal is difficult to understand

Three-quarters of respondents said they found the deal difficult to understand with 28% of these citing this as the sole reason for not voting.

A massive 91% of respondents said they had received no formal communication from their union over the proposed NHS pay deal.


The question has to be asked if healthcare unions have acted appropriately in seeking the views of its members and setting out the pay deal in a way staff can understand.

Time to vote is running out.

NHS staff who are a member of either the Royal College of Nursing or UNISON have until the 5th of June to voice their opinions over the NHS pay deal.

When we contacted the Royal College of Nursing about the rumoured poor turnout and lack of awareness around the vote a spokesperson said: “Voting is still ongoing and we will announce the result when the poll closes in June.”

The Royal College of Nursing has previously said it would investigate claims of misrepresenting the NHS Pay Deal to its membership.


UNISON did not respond to our request for comment.

About voting…

Can I vote? To be eligible to vote you must be an NHS employee in England and hold an active membership to one of the healthcare unions.

Should I vote? Absolutely, a union is only as powerful as its membership. This is a democratic process that involves you and your future.

How should I vote? We cannot tell you how you should vote, you should weigh up your individual circumstances. You can take a look at the proposed Agenda for Change pay scales or use the pay calculator to find out the effect the rise would have on your salary. But, we encourage you to do your own research.

How to vote: Member can vote on the Royal College of Nursing or Unison sites. If you are a member of a different union you should contact them to find out how to vote. 


How long do I have to vote? Voting closes on Tuesday 5th of June 2018.

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