The Royal College of Nursing confirmed on Wednesday that it will take the first UK-wide strike action in its 106-year history.
RNC has attracted 300,000 members because of the act of overpaying. In July, the British government announced that more than 1 million staff – including nurses – would get a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year from April 2022. But the union has urged the government to give it offer a salary increase of more than 5%. inflationary.
“We are all extremely grateful for the hard work and dedication of NHS staff, including nurses, and deeply regret that some union members voted for industrial action,” health secretary Steve Barclay said ahead of the news.
He added: “Our priority is to keep patients safe during any strike. The NHS has tried and tested plans to minimize disruption and ensure emergency services continue to operate.”
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s decision, the prime minister Rishi Sunak“Unfortunately, some union members are looking into this action,” a company spokesperson said. No 10 said the government had committed to giving nurses a “fair” salary but said the union’s claim would cost £9 billion and this “simply cannot deliver”.
Contingency plans to deal with a possible strike are being directed by the Cabinet Office, the Department of Health and the NHS.
Earlier this week, Cabinet Office Secretary Oliver Dowden said that in the event of a strike, “sufficient oil contingency options” were in place, with essential services being prioritized.