Nurses at St Helens and Whiston hospitals are on strike over pay

NURSES will join a nationwide strike outside Whiston and St Helens hospitals tomorrow for pay.

The wave of industrial action that has swept across the country for months will continue this week and could escalate if bitter clashes over wages, jobs and working conditions do not break out.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) across England are set to drop out on Wednesday and Thursday and the union has warned that the next strikes will involve all eligible members in England if no progress is made in negotiations by the end of January the first Just.

The government continues to insist that wage demands are prohibitive and maintains its belief that wage increases should be decided by wage inspection bodies.

St Helens Star: PA GraphicPA graphic (Image: PA Graphic)

Health unions are refusing to provide evidence of the 2023/24 pay rise to the NHS paycheck body until the current dispute is settled.

The strikes will be the biggest yet as more than a third of NHS trusts in England and all but one Welsh health authority have been affected, the Royal College of Nursing has confirmed.

It comes as nurses prepare to leave on Wednesday and Thursday after the two days of strikes before Christmas.

Emergency care is provided as required by union law.

The Royal College of Nursing notes that “the value of senior nurses’ salaries today is 20 per cent lower in real terms as consecutive wage payments since 2010 have been granted below the rate of inflation”.

It adds that “low wages are pushing nurses out of the job and contributing to record vacancies.”

The union continued: “The new strike dates in February coincide with the tenth anniversary of the Robert Francis Inquiry and its findings on the impact of nurse shortages on patient mortality.”

RCN General Secretary Pat Cullen said: “It is with a heavy heart that nurses are on strike this week and again in three weeks. Instead of negotiating, Rishi Sunak has again opted for a strike.

“We are doing this in a desperate attempt to get him and Ministers to bail out the NHS. The only credible solution is to address the tens of thousands of unfilled positions – patient care is suffering like never before.

“My olive branch to the government – asking them to meet me halfway and start negotiations – is still there. You should seize him.” Nurses at St Helens and Whiston hospitals are on strike over pay

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