The first of its kind UK nurses strike amid demands for higher wages

The first of its kind UK nurses strike amid demands for higher wages Nurses in the UK have launched an unprecedented one-day strike they describe as a "last resort" in their fight for better pay and working conditions. Health Secretary Steve Barclay said "this is a difficult time for everyone" and the government could not meet "unsustainable" demands.  Nurses in the United Kingdom on Thursday launched an unprecedented one-day strike they described as a "last resort" in their fight for better pay and working conditions, despite warnings the action could put patients at risk.  Up to 100,000 members of the Royal College of Nursing union in England, Wales and Northern Ireland stopped working at 8:00 in a move that will continue until 20:00 GMT, after they rejected a government offer to improve their pay.  The move by the Royal College of Nursing is part of a growing wave of strikes by public and private sector employees.  A number of demonstrators gathered in front of government hospitals in London.  Amira, a nurse working in London, told AFP on condition of anonymity that the decision to strike was "not taken lightly".  The strike is the first in the history of the Royal College of Nursing since its founding 106 years ago.  "We are tired and fed up," said Amira, adding, "We need to increase wages to make a living."  The United Kingdom is experiencing a cost of living crisis with accelerating inflation that has outpaced wage growth.  Union leaders and medical personnel stress that nurses are under great pressure due to a shortage of staff, while NHS facilities suffer from a backlog of medical appointments.  A number of medical services will remain untouched by this move, such as the chemotherapy, dialysis and intensive care departments.  However, many of the rest of the service staff will be reduced to the lowest level during the move, according to the Royal College of Nursing.  The acting chief executive of NHS facility operators, Saffron Corddry, stressed that the agency was making every effort to minimize the impact of movement on patients.  "The scene will be different in the country," she said, pointing to efforts being made with local unions to mitigate the impact of the strike.  A vote took place on the ninth of November in favor of this strike, and two days of action were announced, on the 15th and 20th of December, after “the government’s refusal to negotiate.”  Based on estimates, the real salary of nurses has decreased by 20% since 2010, mainly due to the current cost of living crisis, with the inflation rate exceeding 11%. The annual salary for a junior nurse is £27,000 (€31,400).  But for Health Secretary Steve Barclay, "this is a difficult time for everyone" and the government cannot meet the "unaffordable" demands made by the Royal College of Nursing that "represent a 19.2% salary increase"

Nurses in the UK have launched an unprecedented one-day strike they describe as a "last resort" in their fight for better pay and working conditions. Health Secretary Steve Barclay said "this is a difficult time for everyone" and the government could not meet "unsustainable" demands.

Nurses in the United Kingdom on Thursday launched an unprecedented one-day strike they described as a "last resort" in their fight for better pay and working conditions, despite warnings the action could put patients at risk.

Up to 100,000 members of the Royal College of Nursing union in England, Wales and Northern Ireland stopped working at 8:00 in a move that will continue until 20:00 GMT, after they rejected a government offer to improve their pay.

The move by the Royal College of Nursing is part of a growing wave of strikes by public and private sector employees.

A number of demonstrators gathered in front of government hospitals in London.

Amira, a nurse working in London, told AFP on condition of anonymity that the decision to strike was "not taken lightly".

The strike is the first in the history of the Royal College of Nursing since its founding 106 years ago.

"We are tired and fed up," said Amira, adding, "We need to increase wages to make a living."

The United Kingdom is experiencing a cost of living crisis with accelerating inflation that has outpaced wage growth.

Union leaders and medical personnel stress that nurses are under great pressure due to a shortage of staff, while NHS facilities suffer from a backlog of medical appointments.

A number of medical services will remain untouched by this move, such as the chemotherapy, dialysis and intensive care departments.

However, many of the rest of the service staff will be reduced to the lowest level during the move, according to the Royal College of Nursing.

The acting chief executive of NHS facility operators, Saffron Corddry, stressed that the agency was making every effort to minimize the impact of movement on patients.

"The scene will be different in the country," she said, pointing to efforts being made with local unions to mitigate the impact of the strike.

A vote took place on the ninth of November in favor of this strike, and two days of action were announced, on the 15th and 20th of December, after “the government’s refusal to negotiate.”

Based on estimates, the real salary of nurses has decreased by 20% since 2010, mainly due to the current cost of living crisis, with the inflation rate exceeding 11%. The annual salary for a junior nurse is £27,000 (€31,400).

But for Health Secretary Steve Barclay, "this is a difficult time for everyone" and the government cannot meet the "unaffordable" demands made by the Royal College of Nursing that "represent a 19.2% salary increase"
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