Nurses across England, Wales and Northern Ireland are to strike for two days next month in what is set to be the biggest walkout in history.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have announced its members will stage their first ever national walk out next month.
The strikes will be taking place on Thursday 15 December and Tuesday 20 December 2022. Nurses will still provide emergency care to patients, but routine services will be impacted.
The RCN said it was calling the strikes after the UK Government turned down its offer of detailed, formal negotiations as an alternative to taking industrial action.
“Ministers have chosen strike action. They have the power and the means to stop this by opening serious talks that address our dispute.”
Members in England, Wales & Northern Ireland will take strike action on 15 & 20 Dec.
— The RCN (@theRCN) November 25, 2022
The RCN said it had been given no choice after ministers would not reopen talks and the government said the 19% pay rise demanded was unaffordable.
Earlier this month, it was announced that nursing staff across the UK had voted to take strike action over pay and patient safety. The RCN said that despite a pay rise of around £1,400 awarded in the summer, experienced nurses are worse off by 20% in real terms due to successive below-inflation awards since 2010.
General Secretary of The Royal College of Nursing, Pat Cullen said: “Ministers have had more than two weeks since we confirmed that our members felt such injustice that they would strike for the first time.
“My offer of formal negotiations was declined and, instead, ministers have chosen strike action. They have the power and the means to stop this by opening serious talks that address our dispute. Nursing staff have had enough of being taken for granted, enough of low pay and unsafe staffing levels, enough of not being able to give our patients the care they deserve.”
A full list of the NHS employers who will be striking will be announced next week, once the formal notifications are submitted.
Feature image – Unsplash