UNISON¹s consultative ballot of its health members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on changes to the NHS pension scheme, returned a low turnout of 14.8% of those eligible to vote.
Of that 14.8% the result was close with 50.4% voting to reject and 49.5% to accept.
UNISON Head of Health, Christina McAnea, said:
The low turnout coupled with the close vote shows there is no mandate to endorse the pensions proposals, but equally no mandate to take further industrial action.
The turnout is disappointing but in some ways is not unexpected. Our members in health including nurses, paramedics, occupational therapists, porters, medical secretaries, healthcare assistants are in the second year of a pay freeze, many face job cuts and increasing pressure at work as well as attacks on their terms and conditions.
In addition, the Health and Social Care Act is set to cause major disruption across the service. The turnout reflects the low morale and current difficult state of the NHS.
We need to consider the next steps in the pensions campaign and we will be talking to the other health unions.