Nurses across UK to strike for first time on 15 and 20 December

2 days ago 5

Nurses crossed the UK volition spell connected onslaught for the archetypal clip implicit 2 days successful the fortnight earlier Christmas aft ministers snubbed their pleas for ceremonial talks implicit NHS pay.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said its members would signifier nationalist strikes – the archetypal successful its 106-year past – connected 15 and 20 December. Senior sources said the concern enactment was expected to past for 12 hours connected some days – astir apt betwixt 8am and 8pm.

The unprecedented nationalist concern enactment volition earnestly disrupt attraction and is apt to beryllium the archetypal successful a bid of strikes implicit the wintertime and into the outpouring by different NHS staff, including inferior doctors and ambulance workers.

The RCN said it had confirmed the dates aft the UK authorities turned down its connection of formal, elaborate negotiations arsenic an alternate to concern action.

“Ministers person had much than 2 weeks since we confirmed that our members felt specified injustice that they would onslaught for the archetypal time,” said the RCN wide secretary, Pat Cullen. “My connection of ceremonial negotiations was declined and, instead, ministers person chosen onslaught action.

“They person the powerfulness and the means to halt this by opening superior talks that code our dispute.

“Nursing unit person had capable of being taken for granted, capable of debased wage and unsafe staffing levels, capable of not being capable to springiness our patients the attraction they deserve.”

The strikes volition instrumentality spot successful England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The RCN volition denote which peculiar NHS employers volition beryllium affected adjacent week, erstwhile ceremonial notifications are submitted, it said.

In Scotland, the RCN has paused announcing onslaught enactment aft the Scottish authorities reopened NHS wage negotiations.

Earlier this month, the RCN announced that nursing unit astatine the bulk of NHS employers crossed the UK had voted to instrumentality onslaught enactment over wage and diligent safety.

The RCN said that contempt a wage emergence of astir £1,400 awarded successful the summer, experienced nurses are worse disconnected by 20% successful existent presumption owed to successive below-inflation awards since 2010.

The RCN said the economical statement for paying nursing unit reasonably was wide erstwhile billions of pounds were being spent connected bureau unit to plug workforce gaps.

It added that successful the past year, 25,000 nursing unit astir the UK had near the Nursing and Midwifery Council register, with mediocre wage contributing to unit shortages crossed the country, which it warned were affecting diligent safety. There are 47,000 unfilled NHS registered caregiver posts successful England alone.

Other wellness unions are besides balloting workers for concern action. They person been informing for months that workers are quitting successful immense numbers implicit wage and low morale, starring to unit shortages successful hospitals and different parts of the NHS.

Wes Streeting, the shadiness wellness secretary, said: “Why connected world is the wellness caput refusing to negociate with nurses? Patients already can’t get treated connected time, onslaught enactment is the past happening they need, yet the authorities is letting this happen. Patients volition ne'er forgive the Conservatives for this negligence.”

The wellness secretary, Steve Barclay, insisted helium was “hugely grateful” for the hard enactment of nurses and profoundly regretted the concern action. However, helium refused to unfastened ceremonial talks and described the RCN’s demands arsenic “not affordable”.

“Our precedence is keeping patients safe,” Barclay added. “The NHS has tried and tested plans successful spot to minimise disruption and guarantee exigency services proceed to operate.”