Nurses to hold biggest strike yet with two-day walkout in February

John Bishop says nurses going on strike because NHS is broken

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The Royal College of Nursing is ramping up its industrial action as Downing Street continues to block extra pay. Two days of strikes will begin on Wednesday across 55 trusts in England and Wales.

Another round will begin on February 6 if the dispute has not been settled.

RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen said: “It is with a heavy heart that nursing staff are striking this week and again in three weeks. Rather than negotiate, Rishi Sunak has chosen strike action again.

“We are doing this in a desperate bid to get him and ministers to rescue the NHS. The only credible solution is to address the tens of thousands of unfilled jobs – patient care is suffering like never before.

“My olive branch to the government – asking them to meet me halfway and begin negotiations – is still there. They should grab it.”

The dispute comes as the government wrestles with a number of public sector strikes.

Downing Street warned teachers they risk inflicting “substantial damage” to children’s education teaching unions announced they will be taking industrial action.

Nine out of 10 teacher members of the National Education Union (NEU) on a 53 percent turnout.

They will hold seven days of walkouts in February and March, but individual schools will only be affected by four of the days.

The first day of strikes will be on February 1 and more than 23,000 schools in England and Wales are expected to be affected, the NEU has said.

The NEU said historic real-term pay cuts for teachers had created an “unsustainable situation” in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis and staff were leaving the profession “in droves”.

Mr Sunak’s spokesman said: “We would continue to call on teachers not to strike given we know what substantial damage was caused to children’s education during the pandemic and it’s certainly not something we want to see repeated.

“We would hope they would continue to discuss with us their concerns rather than withdraw education from children.”

Last week, a ballot of members of the NASUWT teachers’ union failed to reach the 50 percent turnout threshold.

GMB leaders met on Monday to decide whether to call more strikes among their ambulance members because of the lack of progress in talks.

A decision is expected to be announced later in the week.

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