FAIR PAY, NOW!

Nurses up and down the country, including in Nottingham, have walked out for the second day of this new round of industrial action.

With no progress being made with the government after the last wave of strikes in January, the Royal College of Nursing have gone ahead with the planned action.

February’s industrial action sees 73 NHS Trusts in England walk out – an increase of 18 from January’s strikes and 29 more than the Royal College of Nursing’s first strike in December 2022.

The new wave of strikes come as government ministers, including Health Secretary Stephen Barclay, have been absent at the negotiation table. The RCN says this is a huge frustration as negotiations around pay are fundamental to future industrial action being averted.

“MY OLIVE BRANCH TO THE GOVERNMENT – ASKING THEM TO MEET ME HALFWAY AND BEGIN NEGOTIATIONS – IS STILL THERE. THEY SHOULD GRAB IT.”
pat cullen, rcn general secretary

The RCN say that the salaries of nurses today are 20% lower in value as a result of 13 years of below inflation pay. Nursing staff are leaving the industry and are taking up better paid jobs where they say their contribution is valued more highly.

That is why the RCN are demanding a 19% pay rise – five per cent above inflation at its current 14% high.

Although the RCN want a pay rise above inflation, its general secretary Pat Cullen has indicated that she would be willing to meet the government halfway, saying that her “olive branch to the government is still there” and that “they should grab it”.

However, the government maintain that pay rises to the tune of 19% are unaffordable. Moreover, they add that pay rises are decided by independent pay review bodies.

All nurses who work in intensive or emergency care should work.

The biggest disruption likely to be caused as a result of these strikes is pre-booked treatment appointments.

If you are seriously ill or injured, you should still call 999 or 111 for non-urgent care.

The most life-threatening situations will have an ambulance sent.

Nurses are not the only public sector workers in the region to take industrial action in February. On February 1, members of the National Education Union took to the streets in huge numbers as they were joined by the Public and Commercial Services Union, as well as members of the RMT, for a march through the city centre before an indoor rally at the Royal Albert Hall.