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 circumstances intensified.

The walkout by members of the Royal School of Nursing begins at 8pm on Sunday night and can conclude at 11.59pm on Might 1. It follows the union’s choice in April to reject a authorities provide that included a one-off cost and a 5 per cent pay enhance within the 2023-24 fiscal yr.

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 think about what he stated was the federal government’s “honest and cheap” pay provide.

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

“The NHS Workers 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 Workers Council to return to that call. And I believe this strike is untimely and disrespectful to these commerce unions that can 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 circumstances.

Pat Cullen, normal secretary of the RCN © REUTERS

Lecturers represented by the Nationwide Schooling Union are as a consequence of stroll out on Might 2, whereas all 4 of the UK’s main educating unions — the NEU, the Nationwide Affiliation of Head Lecturers, the Affiliation of College and School Leaders and the NASUWT — final week threatened co-ordinated strike motion that would see upwards of 300,000 lecturers down instruments.

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

Well being leaders and ministers have voiced concern on the potential affect 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 models, most cancers care and emergency departments.

Pat Cullen, normal 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 variety of companies, for emergency departments, for intensive care models, for neonatal models, paediatric intensive care models, these actually acute pressing companies,” Cullen informed Sky Information.

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

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

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

In the meantime, the final secretary of the practice drivers’ union, Aslef, on Sunday criticised the transport secretary, after he accused placing rail employees — who’re as a consequence of stroll out on Might 12, Might 31 and June 3 — of intentionally concentrating on the Eurovision Music 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 slightly than concentrating on the Eurovision Music Contest,” Harper informed Sky Information.

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

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