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 School of Nursing begins at 8pm on Sunday night and can conclude at 11.59pm on Could 1. It follows the union’s choice in April to reject a authorities supply that included a one-off fee 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 workers 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 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 resembling 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 will likely be assembly on Tuesday.”

The newest 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, basic secretary of the RCN © REUTERS

Academics represented by the Nationwide Schooling Union are on account of stroll out on Could 2, whereas all 4 of the UK’s main educating unions — the NEU, the Nationwide Affiliation of Head Academics, the Affiliation of College and School Leaders and the NASUWT — final week threatened co-ordinated strike motion that might see upwards of 300,000 lecturers 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 doable 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 models, most cancers care and emergency departments.

Pat Cullen, basic 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 providers, for emergency departments, for intensive care models, for neonatal models, paediatric intensive care models, these actually acute pressing providers,” Cullen advised Sky Information.

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

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

“The commercial motion will nonetheless have a really important 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 final secretary of the prepare drivers’ union, Aslef, on Sunday criticised the transport secretary, after he accused putting rail employees — who’re on account of stroll out on Could 12, Could 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 might have thought frankly rail employees would have needed to face in solidarity with them moderately than concentrating on the Eurovision Music Contest,” Harper advised Sky Information.

Aslef basic secretary Mick Whelan described the minister’s feedback as “ridiculous”, including: ‘The one people who find themselves answerable 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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