UK nurses warn of more serious strikes if pay dispute continues | Daily News Byte

UK nurses warn of more serious strikes if pay dispute continues

 | Daily News Byte

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Britain’s biggest nursing union has warned that hospitals face further, more serious strikes in the new year if ministers do not improve their pay offers to staff.

Thousands of nurses took industrial action on Thursday as part of action organized by the Royal College of Nursing, with a second strike planned for Tuesday.

HSJ reports that more than 2,000 elective appointments were canceled and more than 13,000 outpatient appointments were delayed.

The proposed 2023 strike may be more restrictive, causing further disruption to hospital services. The RCNA warned that nurses would work in fewer areas and perform a more limited number of tasks

Union leaders say they have been trying to formally negotiate with the country’s Health Secretary Steve Barclay since announcing strike action in November. But ministers were reportedly unwilling to engage with unions.

Last Thursday, union general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen said: “I have tried to negotiate and get governments to act. They had every opportunity but chose to turn their backs on us. As difficult as this is, we will not turn our backs on our patients. That is why we will be on strike today, and I will be with you.”

the observer Officials from the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department of Trade are reportedly meeting to discuss ways to end the industrial action. Ministers have been given until Thursday to respond to the RCN’s latest strike threat.

To the observer, Cullen said: “The Government should wrap this up by Christmas. The January strikes, if they are forced to go ahead, will see more hospitals and more nurses participating than at present – 2023 needs to be a fresh start for all, not more of the same.”

HSJ Just under 10,000 nurses are estimated to be on strike at 39 English hospital trusts on Thursday, with trusts in the South West and Midlands seeing the highest numbers.

There are around 219 National Health Service Trusts in England, ten of which run ambulance services.

Nine of these ambulance trusts are also set to face strike action on December 21 (Wednesday) and December 28. Organizers the GMB union estimate 10,000 paramedics, emergency care assistants, call handlers and other staff will take part in the strike.

The government has said it will use members of the armed forces to support affected ambulance services during strike days.

The country’s overstretched public health services continue to struggle with crises in both emergency and alternative care, with staff shortages – as well as a lack of capacity in care homes and home care services – seen as key drivers of the problems.

Rising inflation has seen a number of UK industries strike in recent months, with travel chaos expected to worsen over the holiday period.

Air travel is likely to be affected by industrial action over the holidays, with several European airlines – and the UK’s Border Force – on strike in the coming days.

Rail disruption, which has affected travel within the country for months, looks set to continue over the holiday period, with many unions expected to strike ahead of Christmas and New Year.

Some staff at Eurostar, which connects London with train stations in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, are also due to strike on December 22 (Thursday) and December 23 (Friday).

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