Nurses threaten contemporary strikes amid ‘unprecedented anger’ | UK | News | EUROtoday

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Fresh nurses strikes could also be on the horizon after union bosses vowed to “again push ministers further than they want to go” in 2024.

The Royal College of Nursing’s common secretary, Pat Cullen, mentioned industrial motion during the last 12 months had resulted in solely “modest progress” regardless of “an unprecedented amount of anger and optimism”.

She mentioned in a brand new 12 months’s message: “We were on picket lines across the country either side of last Christmas and we’d never been louder as a profession – pushed there because nobody was listening but very firmly believing something positive would come out of it all.

“How did the year go? Politicians only granted us modest progress – enough to save their own skins but not the revolution that nursing needs and patients deserve.

“Would we do it over again? Yes, by your actions you forced ministers to announce a top-up on the previous year’s pay settlement and give more than they had wanted to for the current year.”

The Government agreed a 5% pay rise for healthcare employees in May after it was backed by nearly all of commerce unions.

Members of the RCN rejected the provide. However, a June poll on whether or not to proceed industrial motion didn’t clear the required turnout threshold, so there have been no additional strikes.

Ms Cullen insisted school negotiators had “got every penny” doable from the Government, however recommended it might battle for an additional pay rise in the course of the coming 12 months.

The RCN plans to ask members about their urge for food for contemporary industrial motion shortly.

Ms Cullen urged members to write down to their MPs elevating considerations in regards to the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act, which might see hospital employees pressured to proceed working.

She additionally promised to hunt commitments on protected staffing ranges.

More than 40,000 nursing vacancies within the NHS in England imply employees are routinely requested to look after as much as 15 sufferers without delay, the RCN mentioned.

A YouGov ballot of greater than 2,000 adults discovered 65% thought nurses shouldn’t be accountable for greater than six sufferers without delay on non-critical wards, and three quarters believed there weren’t sufficient nurses to offer protected care.

Some 72% of these surveyed mentioned they’d help nurses putting over staffing ranges, whereas 66% supported them putting over pay.

Ms Cullen added: “In 2024, politicians of every party across the UK must rise to the public’s expectations on safe health and care services. Failure to do so will cost them votes and maybe jobs.

“To save their own skins in the new year, their answer will have to be better than what’s gone before.

“Ours is a proud profession with reason to be hopeful – the voice of nursing is a political one and we intend to use it.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson mentioned: “We hugely value the hard work of NHS nurses, which is why we provided a 5% pay rise and two significant one-off awards – worth over £2,000 on average for full-time nurses.

“This deal, which the RCN recommended its members accept, also included a number of commitments to deliver a series of reforms to improve working conditions.

“We have recruited more than 50,000 extra nurses compared to 2019 – hitting our target early – and the Long Term Workforce plan will ensure the NHS has the staff it needs over the next 15 years so patients continue to receive the best possible care.”