Why NHS nurses announced strike before Christmas ? Explained

Why did NHS nurses strike before Christmas?  explained

In the two days before Christmas, nurses will strike in the UK for the first time. Let’s examine the specific reasons why NHS nurses have called a strike before Christmas.


NHS nurses strike: explained


Before Christmas, NHS nurses will take part in their biggest ever strike to get paid more. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the nurses’ union, held an industrial strike vote for its 300,000 members between 6 October and 2 November, the first time in its 106-year existence that it had done so for members in all four. United Kingdom countries.


When and where will strikes happen?


At least 177 NHS establishments will see strikes. Examples include the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, Guy and St Thomas and King’s College Hospital in London, the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

A full list of hospitals and NHS funds involved in the strike can be found here. On November 25, the RCN announced that the first nationwide strikes would occur on December 15 and 20, 2023. Senior sources told the Guardian that the strike was expected to last 12 hours on both days, likely from 8am to 8pm. The strikes may continue until May 2023. Soon, more specific plans will be revealed.


How is the decision to strike by trust?


A union must meet two requirements in the NHS Trust to be eligible to strike legally in England, Scotland and Wales: it needs 50% of eligible union members to vote on the ballot, and a majority must then agree to industrial strike.

The British Medical Journal reported that 102 out of 215 NHS institutions in England fell just short of the required participation rate of 50%.
In Scotland and Northern Ireland, every NHS group will hit, and all health boards in Wales – all but one – meet the requirements.


Why do nurses graduate?


Payment is the biggest difficulty. Nurses are among a large group of public sector employees whose salaries have not kept pace with inflation.

The demand for wages is unsustainable

The Minister of Health praised the nurses for their commitment and hard work, expressing his sincere sadness over the participation of some in the industrial work.

Steve Barclay said: “These are trying times for everyone, and economic realities mean that the RCN’s proposals, which current statistics suggest a wage increase of 19.2%, at a cost of £10 billion a year, are not feasible.” The RCN is asking for an increase based on the October Retail Price Index inflation rate of +5%. This rate was 14.2%.

In Scotland, a flat rate of just over £2,200 was offered, while in Northern Ireland, no pay bonus might not be authorized without an executive. NHS staff in England and Wales have received an average increase of 4.75% this year.

Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor and former health secretary, expressed “a great deal of sympathy” for the nurses trying to make ends meet, but insisted lowering inflation was the best way to help them.

According to data from the London School of Economics, over the past ten years, experienced nurses’ wages have fallen by 20% in real terms. This means that nurses basically work for free one day a week. This is consistent with previous analysis by health charity the Nuffield Trust, which found that real pay for NHS staff will be lower in 2023-2023 than it was in 2010-11.

There must be change

Nursing pay has been in arrears for the past 10 years, according to RCN chief Patricia Marquez, who told Sky News nurses are taking action by reminding governments that “something needs to change”.

She said our members are telling the government loud and clear that the NHS must change nurses. “We have received a wage bonus of £1,400 this year, which may sound like a lot to some people, but nursing pay has fallen backwards over the last ten years by about the rate of inflation plus 5%; as a result our members are very disappointed that they have not They receive nothing close to what they demanded to bring their salaries back to the level they were ten years ago.

“They are very concerned about the impact on patient care. To provide the required care, not enough nurses and nursing staff are available.

So, as the patients are waiting so long for their procedures, ambulances, beds, it is unsafe for the patients to wait any longer, and the nurses are saying “we’ve had enough, we can’t go on like this, something has happened.”


NHS job opportunities are at record levels


Between April and June, there were 47,000 nursing opportunities in England, a fifth more than the previous year. According to the RCN, 25,000 nurses in the UK have parted ways with the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s registry in the past 12 months.

Members of the cross-party Health and Social Care Committee this summer have referred to the staffing challenges as “the biggest workforce crisis” in the history of the NHS.

The union attributes the problem to more than just low wages. There are other health unions threatening to strike in addition to the RCN. The voting period for Unison members ends on Friday, and for NHS members in Unite, the following week. Junior doctors will be asked to vote for action in the new year, along with midwives, physiotherapists and more. Ambulance workers are set to strike in Scotland on Monday.


What are the effects of the cost-of-living crisis on nurses?


The rising cost of living had a significant impact on those with low-paying jobs. One in five people referred to food banks comes from work homes, according to recent statistics from food bank charity Trussell Trust.

Those forced to use food banks and receive charity food boxes include nurses. To help their staff, some NHS trusts have set up food banks or food voucher programmes.

In a 2017 NHS Providers survey of NHS Trust executives, 71% of respondents said many of their staff had struggled to pay for business travel expenses, while 81% expressed moderate to significant concern about their physical health and 61% indicated an increase. On sick days for employees due to mental illness.

Two-thirds (63%) of nurses and healthcare workers choose between food and fuel, while 14% use food banks, according to research conducted in September on 1020 NHS and social care staff by healthcare technology platform Florence. In addition, 28% of workers intend to leave the sector in search of higher compensation.


How will strikes affect the care provided by the NHS?


Patient safety, according to the RCN, is “of paramount importance,” and during strikes, minimum staffing levels will be maintained by adhering to a “life-sustaining care approach.”

Accordingly, it is forbidden for workers to strike in specific care places to avoid serious injuries or deaths. It consists of urgent treatment services, urgent diagnosis and urgent emergency services.

However, there will be changes elsewhere in the delivery of NHS treatment. Chemotherapy and dialysis sessions, as well as non-urgent surgeries and outpatient appointments, are expected to be rescheduled. Care in the hospital is expected to be similar to that provided on a weekend or holiday.


Can agency workers replace striking nurses?


The RCN’s instructions are unequivocal: “We at RCN expect that you are not covered by this shift if you are an agency worker who is placed to work for the NHS on the day of the strike.

“You can ask your agency to assign you an alternative job at a company that is not involved in a strike, such as a private hospital or nursing facility.”

However, this does not mean that agency employees must listen to an attorney; In fact, some shifts may pay well. One in three NHS trusts paid an agency more than £1,000 for a single shift last year, and one in six trusts paid out more than $2,000. This was revealed through a recent Freedom of Information request by the Labor Party.

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