The nursing union will now ballot for further strike action later this month…reports Asian Lite News
The leader of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has called on the health secretary to restart pay negotiations with a proposed rise in double digits.
Nurses in England are due to get a 5% pay rise after the majority of health unions accepted a government pay offer – but RCN members rejected the deal.
Speaking to the Times, union boss Pat Cullen praised her “courageous” members and urged ministers to reopen talks.
A source from the Department of Health told the BBC the pay offer was final.
Having initially pushed for a 19% pay rise, Ms Cullen later called for RCN union members to accept the government’s 5% pay offer, but they refused the pay deal by 54% to 46%.
The nursing union will now ballot for further strike action later this month.
In an interview with the Times, Cullen said: “Looking back on this pay offer, I may personally have underestimated the members and their sheer determination.”
She called on Health Secretary Steve Barclay to reopen negotiations which she said needed to “start off in double figures”.
Ministers owe it to nurses “not to push them to have to do another six months of industrial action right up to Christmas,” she added.
Nurses in England went on strike for 24 hours on 1 May – it was the first time RCN members walked out of all areas, including intensive care.
They also took industrial action on two other occasions earlier this year on 6 and 7 February and on 18 and 19 January.
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