Brits to be hit by yet another wave of strikes as nurses take to the picket line in January

NURSES in England will go on strike on January 18th and 19th, it has been announced.

It comes amid an ongoing wage dispute with the UK government.

Nurses went on picket lines across the country earlier this week in a dispute over pay

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Nurses went on picket lines across the country earlier this week in a dispute over payCredit: David Hartley

If negotiations do not open, nurses will picket again, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said today.

Northern Ireland and Wales will be exempt from the latest wave, the RCN added.

Secretary-General Pat Cullen said: “The Government had the opportunity to end this dispute before Christmas but instead chose to throw nursing staff back into the cold in January.”

Cullen added: “The public support has been heartwarming and I am more confident than ever that this is the right thing to do for patients and the future of the NHS.

“Staff shortages and low pay are making patient care unsafe – the sooner ministers get to the negotiating table, the sooner this can be resolved. I won’t dig in if they don’t dig in.”

On Tuesday, nurses took to the streets after being offered just a 4.75 percent pay rise – well below what was being asked.

It was the second day of strikes in a month for nurses after they said many were struggling with the cost of living crisis.

Last night it was announced that the rescue workers would also go on strike again next year.

Ambulance workers in Unison will hold two more strikes on Jan. 11 and 23 over pay and staff disputes, the union announced.

However, a planned strike by ambulance workers at the GMB on December 28 has been suspended, the union said.

National Secretary Rachel Harrison said: “We know the public will appreciate being able to enjoy Christmas without added anxiety.

“They support us and we support them. The workforce crisis in our NHS is so severe and our commitment to ensuring ambulance workers are paid fairly is stronger than ever. We are therefore planning another campaign date for January 11, 2023.”

The Prime Minister today said he was “sad” at the strike action.

Rishi Sunak insisted that refusing to negotiate public sector salaries was the “right thing” in the long run.

He today defended the government for acting “fairly and reasonably” but insisted he could not back down or risk fueling inflation.

He added: “I want to make sure we reduce inflation, part of that is being responsible in setting public sector salaries,” he added.

“In the long term, the right thing for the whole country is that we beat inflation.”

When asked about a possible one-off payment to nurses, he said: “Our door is always open… there are a lot of things that people have brought up as things that could make a difference, we’d love to talk about all of those things. ”

Nurses held strikes on December 15 and Tuesday.

During this week’s strikes, Lucy Savage, who qualified as a registered nurse in September, said workers need “more money and more staff”.

While standing outside Aintree Hospital in Liverpool, the 21-year-old added: “We need patient safety. We’re overworked and underpaid, the NHS is in shambles.

“I don’t know how many times in the last four weeks I’ve gone home and said to my mother, ‘I’m not going to be a nurse for the rest of my life if this goes on.’

Rescue workers in England and Wales followed suit on Wednesday.

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Figures for the last week show one in four ambulance patients in England have waited more than an hour to be handed over to emergency teams at hospitals, while new data suggest patients in hospital with the flu have ‘skyrocketed’ in England and Strep A is ‘close to record’ driving ‘demand for NHS 111 services.

Ten thousand ambulance workers from nine NHS trusts resigned over pay and conditions in the biggest 999 strike in 30 years.

https://www.the-sun.com/health/6978157/brits-hit-another-wave-strikes-nurses-january/ Brits to be hit by yet another wave of strikes as nurses take to the picket line in January

Emma James

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