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HomeNewsNurses announce 48-hour strike in escalating dispute

Nurses announce 48-hour strike in escalating dispute

Nurses announce 48-hour strike in escalating dispute

The nursing union has announced that nurses will strike continuously for 48 hours as industrial action escalates in response to failed pay negotiations with the government.

Previously exempt nursing staff, including those in emergency departments, intensive care units, cancer care, and other services, are intensifying their strike next month.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) announced Thursday evening that industrial action at over 120 NHS trusts in England will continue for 48 hours, from 6 a.m. on Wednesday, March 1 until 6 a.m. on Friday, March 3.

Previous activity occurred only during the day shift, for a total of 12 hours per shift.

The escalation is a result of the government’s refusal to negotiate pay, according to the RCN.

According to the union, services will be reduced to “an absolute minimum,” and hospitals will be required to rely on members of other unions and clinical professionals.

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Affected NHS trusts in London include Guys and St. Thomas’ and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.

Pat Cullen, General Secretary and Chief Executive of the RCN stated, “It is with a heavy heart that I have asked even more nursing personnel to join this dispute today.

“These strikes will not only last longer and involve more people, but they will also affect every aspect of the NHS. Both patients and nurses did not want this to occur.

“By refusing to negotiate with nurses, the Prime Minister forces more individuals to join the strike,” He must heed the advice of NHS leaders and prohibit this action.

“I will do everything possible to protect patient safety. Initially, we requested that tens of thousands continue working during the strikes, but it is now evident that this only serves to prolong the conflict.

The Prime Minister owes them an explanation for this action.

As part of its “life and limb” care, the union continues to engage in national discussions with the NHS.

The RCN agreed to 5,000 exemptions at the local level through committees of NHS hospitals and RCN staff last week as a result of a strike, but this process will be discontinued for the March dates.

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Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive officer of NHS Providers, described it as “the most worrisome escalation of strikes to date.”

“With over 140,000 postponed appointments as a result of the walkouts, this is a step nobody wants to take.

“Trust leaders are currently in a nearly impossible position, as further strikes by ambulance workers are scheduled for the coming days and weeks, and walkouts by junior doctors are also likely.”

Mr. Hartley stated that employees are “extremely concerned” that the escalation will impede efforts to reduce care backlogs.

“Trust leaders will work tirelessly to ensure patient safety and delivery of vital services, but they cannot do everything on their own. The government must speak with the unions immediately about pay for the current fiscal year.”

Meanwhile, Matthew Taylor, chief executive officer of the NHS Confederation, stated that disruptions will be greater than ever.

“We have regrettably strayed into the perilous territory of “business as usual” in regards to striking action. As we feared, this conflict has become a protracted war of attrition with no end in sight.

For the sake of patients, we urge the government and unions to immediately resume negotiations and reach a compromise.

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On the 6th and 7th of February, nursing staff at 73 NHS trusts in England went on strike in a campaign for better pay to recruit and retain more nursing employees to combat the ongoing staff shortages.

Union leaders are urging Health Secretary Steve Barclay to prevent further strike action in England, but the government of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has indicated that it will not budge on one of the most contentious issues – pay for 2022/23.

Ministers have stated that they are looking forward to next year’s pay award, whereas unions have stated that current pay rates must be revised in light of the soaring cost of living caused by soaring inflation.

Nonetheless, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday that Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt were considering giving workers a lump sum by retroactively backdating the pay increase for the following year. According to insiders, it would go into effect in April, most likely until the beginning of January 2023, although no final decisions have been made.

Meanwhile, the financial assistance provided to members who lose a day’s wages due to a strike is increasing.

RCN stated that the initial strike benefit rate will increase from £50 to £80 per day, and then to £120 on the fourth day of action.

London NHS trusts where strike action is planned:

  • Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
  • Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust
  • Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • NHS North Central London ICB
  • NHS South West London ICB
  • Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
  • St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust