Nurses to stage two new strikes as pay dispute escalates – Messenger Newspapers

Nurses are to stage two fresh strikes in the New Year in an escalation of the pay dispute with the UK government, it has been announced.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said that unless negotiations are opened, its members will walk out on January 18 and 19.
The action will take place at more NHS employers in England than happened this month – increasing from 44 to 55 trusts, said the RCN.
The RCN, which held two days of strike action in England, Northern Ireland and Wales on December 15 and 20, said it has repeatedly invited ministers to hold talks on NHS pay.
RCN members will not be striking in Wales and Northern Ireland again in January. Its commitment to members is that everyone employed where strike action has been mandated will have the opportunity to strike if the dispute continues.
In Scotland, RCN members this week overwhelmingly voted to reject a revised NHS pay offer from the Scottish government.
Strike action had been paused pending the ballot’s outcome, but the RCN Scotland now will announce dates for strike action early in the new year.
RCN general secretary Pat Cullen, said: “The Government had the opportunity to end this dispute before Christmas but instead they have chosen to push nursing staff out into the cold again in January. I do not wish to prolong this dispute but the Prime Minister has left us with no choice.
“The public support has been heart-warming and I am more convinced than ever that this is the right thing to do for patients and the future of the NHS.
“The voice of nursing will not be ignored. Staff shortages and low pay make patient care unsafe – the sooner ministers come to the negotiating table, the sooner this can be resolved. I will not dig in, if they don’t dig in.”
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