Wed, 01 February 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

UK nurses begin unprecedented strike

Update : 15 Dec 2022, 17:28

Up to 100,000 members of the country's major nurses' union are taking part in the one-day walkout. The group is asking for better pay and working conditions amid a cost of living crisis.

UK nurses began an unprecedented strike on Thursday as part of their fight for better wages and working conditions, despite government warnings it could put patients at risk.

The strike, which is the first in the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) union's 106-year history, comes amid a bitter dispute with the government over pay at the Nationa Health Service (NHS).

Up to 100,000 members of the RCN in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are holding the one-day stoppage after rejecting the latest terms offered by the government. Emergency and life-saving care would not be affected, the union said.

The two sides remain divided after the NHS Pay Review Body recommended a pay increase of at least 1,400 pounds (€1,625, $1,740) on top of a 3% pay rise last year.

The walkouts conducted at 76 hospitals and health centers has meant the cancellation of thousands of non-urgent operations and tens of thousands of outpatient appointments in Britain's state-funded NHS.

UK Health Minister Steve Barclay described the industrial action as "deeply regrettable" adding he was "concerned about the risk that strikes pose to patients."

Spiraling inflation while wage growth stutters has resulted in a cost-of-living crisis in the UK.

Earlier this week, a study from the New Economics Foundation think tank suggested that within two years 43% of households in the UK will lack the resources to put food on the table.

Britain is facing a wave of industrial action, with strikes hitting the rail network and postal service. Meanwhile, airports may also see action during the Christmas period.

Inflation running at more than 10%, trailed by pay offers of around 4%, is stoking tensions between unions and employers.

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