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Monday, March 20, 2023

‘Standards are falling’: UK nurses go on strike for the first time in their history

Tens of thousands of British nurses will go on strike for the first time in 106 years to demand better pay, adding to pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during the economic crisis, his union said on Wednesday. Nurses from most National Health Service (NHS) state employers in Britain voted to strikeThe Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said in a move that threatens major disruption to an already strained healthcare system.

The RCN, which has more than 300,000 members, said industrial action would begin before the end of the year following the first strike vote in its history.

RCN Secretary General Pat Cullen said in a statement: “The anger has turned into action: Enough is enough, our members say.” “This action will be for both patients and nurses. Standards are falling too low.”

NHS nurses have seen their pay cut by up to 20 per cent in real Over the past ten years, RCN said. The union is demanding a hike of 5 per cent more than the inflation.

Britain has seen a wave of industrial riots in many businesses this yearFailed to keep up with 10 per cent inflation, in the form of wage hikes. Sunak’s spokesman told reporters on Wednesday that the government wanted to strike a balance between the “critical role” of nurses and their financial challenges.

RCN demand £9bn . will be equal to the combined increment of (about $10.25 billion / 200.836 million Mexican pesos) that “simply could not be delivered”, the spokesperson said, adding that there were contingency plans in place for any “impact on personnel”.

The strike will come as the NHS is facing the worst staffing crisis in its history, while still recovering from the hit to services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The well-known British institution, which has provided free-to-use healthcare since 1948, now cares for a record 7 million patients on waiting lists. To receive hospital treatment. Accident and emergency departments are also under pressure.

Health Minister Steve Barkley said: “We are extremely grateful for the hard work and dedication of all NHS staff, including nurses, and deeply regret that some members of the union have voted in favor of industrial action.” “Our priority is to keep patients safe during any strike. The NHS has tried and tested plans to minimize disruption and keep emergency services operating.”

Sunak has been under pressure on the issue ever since he became prime minister two weeks ago., when an elderly patient confronted him during a visit to the hospital and told him he needed to “try harder” on nurses’ salaries. Cullen called on the government for “serious investment” as it prepares to announce a budget next week aimed at repairing the country’s public finances.

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World Nation News Desk
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