NHS nurses’ strike dates announced: Staff to walk out for two days in December in dispute over pay | UK News

NHS nurses will strike for two days in December over a dispute over pay and patient safety.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will take an industrial strike on 15 and 20 December across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In Scotland, industrial work has been paused while wage negotiations continue.

The strike polling among more than 300,000 RCN members was the largest in the union’s 106-year history.

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The union demanded that its members receive a wage increase of at least 17%, adding that years of low wages “push nursing staff out of the profession and jeopardize patient care.”

The nurses had given the government a deadline to open “detailed negotiations” and threatened to announce strike dates in December.

Pat Cullen, general secretary of the RCN, said: “My offer of formal negotiations was rejected and instead ministers chose to go on strike.

“Nursing staff are tired of being taken for granted, enough of low wages and insecure levels of staffing, enough of not being able to give our patients the care they deserve.”

Read more:
Is your area hardest hit by the nurses’ strike?

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Enough Enough – Nursing Syndicate

Payment request “not on hand”

The Minister of Health praised the hard work and dedication of the nurses and expressed deep regret that some went on an industrial strike.

Steve Barclay said: “These are trying times for everyone, and economic conditions mean that the RCN’s demands, which indicate a wage increase of 19.2%, at a cost of £10 billion a year, are not within everyone’s reach.”

The RCN is calling for an increase based on the RPI inflation rate (which was 14.2% in October) plus 5%.

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In England and Wales, NHS staff have seen an average rise of 4.75% this year, and in Scotland the flat rate supply was just over £2,200, while in Northern Ireland a wage award cannot be agreed without an executive present.

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UK strikes: what does the data show?

Advisor Jeremy Hunt – who previously held the post of Minister of Health – he said He has “a great deal of sympathy” for the nurses She struggles with the cost of living, but she insists the best way to help them is to lower inflation.

Data is found from the London School of Economics Salaries for experienced nurses have fallen by 20% in real terms over the past ten years. This means that nurses effectively work one day a week for free.

This reflects recent research by the health charity Nuffield Trust, which said NHS staff salaries remained lower in real terms in 2021/202 than they were in 2010/11.

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‘Great sympathy for the nurses’

NHS vacancies are at a record high

Nursing vacancies reached a record 47,000 in England between April and June, an increase of one-fifth on the previous year.

The RCN says 25,000 nursing staff in the UK left Nursing and Midwifery Council registration last year.

This summer, MPs from the multiparty Health and Welfare Committee described employment issues as The ‘greatest workforce crisis’ in NHS history.

The union does not blame only the payment, But also heavy workloads.

Destructive and divisive blows are in the interest of no one

The government says the nurses’ salary demands are unreasonable. The nurses say they can’t afford to work like this anymore.

And in the middle of the Monday, there are the patients finding out if the announced dates for the strike will mean their long-awaited NHS appointment will be delayed. second.

Both sides say emergency services will not be affected. Minimal staff will remain on wards at hospitals that have supported industrial measures to ensure patients are not exposed to any risk.

The government is publishing reassuring messages to assuage patients’ concerns – but nothing says what will happen about missed appointments, scans, operations and other procedures.

This is because as the Nurses Union, RCN points out, an industrial strike must have some kind of effect or there will be no point in striking.

So the optional lists will pause, and the number of seven million will increase. This will put more stress on nurses and healthcare workers trying to navigate this backlog.

Nurses argue that only better pay will help with recruitment and retention. There are thousands of vacancies – and nurses continue to leave the profession. Their colleagues say they are required to step in to fill these gaps by working longer and harder.

Other hospital staff may join the nurses when unions vote their members out. Paramedics, call handlers, and non-medical hospital staff like porters can be seen joining the picket lines.

Hospitals will not be able to function normally. And every missed appointment needs to be rescheduled. It takes time, staff and resources, just as the NHS collapses under tremendous pressure.

Morale among the nurses has been low for a long time, and many of them are still trying to process what they’ve been through. But things are about to go wrong.

I’ve spoken to nurses on both sides — those who want to strike and those who don’t. The divisions already exist and are set to intensify. That would be really harmful.

It is in no one’s best interest: patients, nurses or NHS managers, that this dispute continue.

:: Will your appointment or operation be affected by strikes? Email [email protected] or WhatsApp 07583 000853

The Canadian Red Cross isn’t the only health union threatening to strike.

Polling closes among Unison members on Friday, and among Unite NHS members next week.

Midwives and physiotherapists also vote on measures, and junior doctors will be voted on in the new year.

Meanwhile, ambulance staff in Scotland are due to be out on Monday.

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Unreasonable wage increase

Labor blames Tory’Neglecting

Shadow health minister Wes Streeting blamed the government for failing to negotiate with the RCN.

“Patients cannot be cured on time,” he said, “and a strike is the last thing they need, and yet the government allows it to happen. Patients will never forgive the Tories for this neglect.”

What about patient safety?

Unlike strikes in other sectors, some nurses will be exempt from participating in the strike – called “exceptions” – to maintain safe staffing levels and ensure patients are not harmed.

A spokesperson for RCN said: “We are committed to ensuring the provision of life preservation service and will confirm exceptions with individual employers in a timely manner.”

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Nurses could follow Northern Ireland’s example in 2019, when staff went on strike.

On its website, the RCN described how recruitment was managed at three levels:

• Full non-adherence, with provision of full service eg intensive care units
• Limited to Sunday service or Christmas Day
• Limited to night work model

Can agency workers replace striking nurses?

The RCN’s advice is clear: “If you are an agency employee assigned to work for the NHS on a strike day, we at RCN expect you not to be covered for the shift.

“You can ask your agency to find you alternative work at an organization that is not taking strike action, for example a private hospital or nursing home.”

But that doesn’t mean agency employees have to follow the advice — and some shifts can be profitable.

A recent freedom of information request by Labor showed that one in three NHS trusts paid the agency more than £1,000 for a single shift last year, and one in six trusts paid more than £2,000.

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