UK Nurses Will go on Strike Until Christmas
According to the head of the country’s largest nursing union, nurses in Britain are willing to go on strike until Christmas if they and the authorities are unable to come to an agreement on pay.
A statement from the labor union leader Pat Cullen reveal that members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will strike at the end of April and the beginning of May before voting on whether to extend the strike through the end of the year.
Cullen said on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg show that if the vote passes, there will be more strikes up until Christmas.
On Friday, union members rejected a salary offer from the government and promptly declared an increase in strike activity.
Nurses in England were expected to accept the five percent salary increase that the RCN and the government negotiated in March.
However, the RCN said that 54 percent of its members rejected the offer after it was made to them.
RCN members will take a 48-hour strike starting at 8:00 p.m. (1900 GMT) on April 30. This will be the initial time the action has been extended to workers in emergency rooms, intensive care units, and cancer care units.
The administration had hoped to put an end to the devastating strike in the health sector, which has forced thousands of operations and appointments to be canceled. The refusal is a blow for them.
Under-consultant hospital doctors have embarked on a four-day strike this week in protest of their wages and working conditions.
Cullen reported that she spoke with Health Secretary Steve Barclay about her wage offer last week and that she had requested a letter from him on Sunday morning.
Late last year, RCN members took to the streets for the first time in the 108-year existence of the union, joining a chorus of public and private sector workers demanding salary increases as inflation surged.
The compensation offer was “fair and generous,” according to the government, and the RCN’s rejection of it was “hugely disappointing.”
The offer includes a one-time incentive worth at least £1,250 ($1,510) each individual in addition to a five percent wage raise in the next fiscal year.
Two further unions that represent healthcare workers have not yet revealed the outcomes of their vote on the offer.
Further strikes, according to healthcare administrators, might shorten the already protracted treatment waiting lists that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has promised to decrease.