English nurses stand firm on pay
Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) mark May Day with another 24-hour stoppage – their third strike this year,
While some employees within the National Health Service accepted a 5 per cent pay offer from the government, nurses belonging to the RCN and junior doctors from the British Medical Association (BMA) have vowed to continue their campaign for fairer pay rises.
RCN members had never gone on strike in their 106-year history until last year. The 280,000 members are now poised to vote on whether to escalate the strikes.
If RCN members vote in favour of further strike action, the union will have a mandate by law to conduct strikes for a further six months across the full NHS.
Another NHS union – Unite – also rejected the government’s pay offer.
“It is quite frankly a joke that NHS workers are being forced to fight for a decent pay rise after years of pay freezes and all their sacrifices during the pandemic,” said Unite general secretary Sharon Graham.
Unite said “the government is choosing to let the NHS collapse”.
RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said it was regrettable that strike action had to be taken but that the government needed to improve its pay offer.
“Nursing staff are looking for a fair settlement that shows the government values and understands their profession. We appear a long way from that currently,” she said.
“The government is choosing to let the NHS collapse.” — Unite