Report by Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) correspondent
The Royal College of Nurses (RCN) struck work for two days on 6th and 7th February 2023. This was an intensification of their struggle to get above-inflation pay-rise and other demands accepted. Almost 12,000 ambulance staff, paramedics, emergency care assistants and call handlers were involved in this action.
Nurses and ambulance staff have staged separate strikes since December in protracted pay disputes, but Monday was the first time they have taken coordinated action. This is the third action by members of the Royal College of Nursing union.
The NHS staff is fighting a government imposed £1,400 pay award backdated to last April; this amounts on average increase to just 4 percent. This is less than half the rate of CPI (Consumer Price Index) inflation (10.5 percent) and even further below the more accurate RPI (Retail Price Index) measure (over 13 percent).
Before the start of strike, RCN general secretary wrote to the prime minister urging him to make a new pay offer to avert the strike.
GMB national secretary said her members had been forced into Monday’s walkout as there had been no meaningful dialogue for a month. “The NHS is crumbling, people are dying and this government is dithering,” she said.