Latest nurses strike ‘disrespectful’ to other health unions, says minister

Strike motion by nurses in England is “untimely and disrespectful” to different unions, well being secretary Steve Barclay stated on Sunday because the dispute between the federal government and well being employees over pay and dealing situations intensified.

The walkout by members of the Royal Faculty of Nursing begins at 8pm on Sunday night and can conclude at 11.59pm on Could 1. It follows the union’s determination in April to reject a authorities supply that included a one-off fee and a 5 per cent pay improve within the 2023-24 fiscal 12 months.

Barclay criticised the choice by the RCN to launch additional strike motion earlier than the NHS employees council, which has representatives from 14 unions and oversees NHS pay, meets on Tuesday to contemplate what he stated was the federal government’s “honest and cheap” pay supply.

“Right here’s a deal that Pat Cullen herself beneficial to her members that we reached after days of negotiation in a good and cheap settlement,” he stated, noting that different well being unions resembling GMB and the Royal Faculty of Midwives had supported the federal government’s deal.

“The NHS Employees Council will meet to vote on whether or not it accepts the settlement that we negotiated with them. I believe it’s proper to attend for the NHS Employees Council to return to that call. And I believe this strike is untimely and disrespectful to these commerce unions that shall be assembly on Tuesday.”

The most recent motion by the RCN comes as different public sector unions are accelerating strike motion after rejecting authorities offers in a push for higher pay and dealing situations.

Pat Cullen, common secretary of the RCN © REUTERS

Academics represented by the Nationwide Training Union are because of stroll out on Could 2, whereas all 4 of the UK’s main instructing unions — the NEU, the Nationwide Affiliation of Head Academics, the Affiliation of Faculty and Faculty Leaders and the NASUWT — final week threatened co-ordinated strike motion that might see upwards of 300,000 academics down instruments.

In the meantime, civil servants represented by the Prospect union will stroll out on Could 10 and June 7.

Well being leaders and ministers have voiced concern on the potential impression of the 28-hour strike motion by nurses on affected person security. The walkout will have an effect on 125 NHS trusts and can for the primary time embody nurses working in intensive care items, most cancers care and emergency departments.

Pat Cullen, common secretary of the RCN, on Sunday insisted that the union would by no means depart “sufferers unsafe or create extra danger”.

“There are nationwide exemptions in place for a spread of providers, for emergency departments, for intensive care items, for neonatal items, paediatric intensive care items, these actually acute pressing providers,” Cullen instructed Sky Information.

Transport secretary Mark Harper has accused striking rail workers of targeting the Eurovision Song Contest
Transport secretary Mark Harper has accused hanging rail employees of concentrating on the Eurovision Tune Contest © Getty Pictures

Regardless of the mitigations, Dame Ruth Could, Chief Nursing Officer for England, warned that the well being service was prone to be severely disrupted over the financial institution vacation.

“The economic motion will nonetheless have a really vital impression on providers in the course of the strike interval and sufferers can anticipate to see longer waits for care,” she stated.

In the meantime, the overall secretary of the practice drivers’ union, Aslef, on Sunday criticised the transport secretary, after he accused hanging rail employees — who’re because of stroll out on Could 12, Could 31 and June 3 — of intentionally concentrating on the Eurovision Tune Contest and different occasions.

“Ukrainian Railways have been particularly focused by Vladimir Putin, rail employees have been killed of their tons of and I’d have thought frankly rail employees would have wished to face in solidarity with them reasonably than concentrating on the Eurovision Tune Contest,” Harper instructed Sky Information.

Aslef common secretary Mick Whelan described the minister’s feedback as “ridiculous”, including: ‘The one people who find themselves chargeable for the continuing strikes on this nation — in all of the completely different sectors of the British financial system — are the federal government and the employers.”

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