The Royal College of Nursing has said they will now consider the next steps.
Nursing staff in Northern Ireland have blasted the 3% NHS pay rise award to health and social care workers.
Of those eligible to participate in the consultation, 51.75% turned out to vote, with 92.2% of those who voted saying they think the pay award is unacceptable and 7.8% saying they believe it is acceptable.
The turnout broke recent union records being nearly double that of similar consultations in England, Scotland and Wales.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said they will now consider the next steps.
In December 2019, nursing staff in Northern Ireland took strike action and won pay parity with their counterparts in England.
Given this recent history, industrial action could realistically be on the cards if nurses can’t reach a deal with Ministers at Stormont. First, however, a further industrial action ballot would need to be undertaken by unions.
Not good enough.
Fiona Devlin, Chair of the RCN Northern Ireland Board said: “We would like to thank each and every member who took part in this important consultation on pay and made their voice heard.
“We are overwhelmed with the outstanding turnout for this ballot which reflects the strength of feeling in Northern Ireland about pay.
“Nursing staff deserve to be paid fairly and equitably for the safety-critical work that they do – and our members have made it clear that a 3% pay award is simply not good enough.”
Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland, Rita Devlin, added: “We have written to the Health Minister, members of the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Health and the leaders of all of the main political parties in Northern Ireland to share these important ballot results.
“We cannot afford to take our eyes off the need to transform and develop a health service that is fit to serve the people of Northern Ireland. A fairly paid workforce is crucial to ensuring this happens.”