Nursing union the Royal College of Nursing announces first strike in its 106-year history
The first nationwide strike in the 106-year history of a nursing union, which represents hundreds of thousands of nurses in the UK, will now take place.
The majority of NHS employers in the UK will be impacted by the strike, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), as nurses protest low pay and patient safety issues.
Many of England’s largest hospitals would see strike action, according to the union, while some “narrowly missed” the legal turnout requirements required for action.
All NHS employers in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and, with the exception of one, Wales, would be included.
“Anger has become action – our members are saying enough is enough,” RCN general secretary and CEO Pat Cullen stated.
“I will make sure that nursing’s loud voice is heard in the UK. Our members will no longer put up with living on the brink financially at home and receiving a harsh deal at work.
“Ministers must ask themselves how much longer they are willing to subject nursing workers to this.
‘A strike across the NHS this winter isn’t inevitable’
Labour’s shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting, stated that there were no strikes in the NHS during the 13 years that Labour was in power.
We would be speaking with the RCN and taking every precaution to stop these strikes from happening if we were in office right now.
The vote on strike action over pay is also taking place among health workers in other unions, including ambulance drivers, hospital porters, and cleaners.
Sara Gorton, the head of UNISON’s health department, said: “A strike this winter throughout the NHS isn’t inevitable.
“Unions want to collaborate with ministers to address the NHS staffing shortage and its impact on patient care, but that collaboration must begin with a pay increase for health workers; otherwise, patient wait times won’t be reduced.”