The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has called for “detailed negotiations” on pay in the next five days or it will announce strike dates for December.
In a letter to Health Secretary Steve Barclay following the autumn statement, RCN General Secretary Pat Cullen said the chancellor demonstrated that “the government remains unprepared to give my members the support they need at work and at home”.
She said that recent meetings with the minister had been “cordial in tone”, but had not resolved the issues at the heart of proposed strike action.
Last week, the RCN announced that nursing staff at the majority of NHS employers across the UK had voted to take strike action over pay and patient safety.
In the letter, she added: “It is with regret that I write to say that unless our next meeting is formal pay negotiations, beginning within the next five days, we will be announcing the dates and locations of our December strike action.”
The RCN is calling for a pay rise of 5% above inflation, saying that despite a pay rise earlier this year, experienced nurses were worse off by 20% due to successive below-inflation awards since 2010.
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