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Historic strike begins in England

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, tens of thousands of nurses have launched the first mass strike action in 106 years.

Key nurses in the UK’s National Health System (NHS) joined the strike wave, which many sectors across the country started demanding a reasonable salary increase in the face of rising cost of living and inflation.

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In the strike vote of the RCN (Royal College of Nursing) union, which represents nurses, for the first time in its 106-year history, the strike started after the majority of nurses voted to go on strike.

Thousands of appointments and surgeries were canceled due to the strike, which was predicted to be attended by approximately 100 thousand nurses.

On the other hand, nurses working in hospitals, chemotherapy, emergency services, dialysis, critical care units, neonatal and pediatric intensive care units will continue to serve patients.

RCN, which has more than 300,000 members nationwide, is demanding a 19 percent salary increase, while the government argues that this demand cannot be met.

 

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Nurses will go on strike on 20 December if their demands are not met.

More than 10,000 ambulance staff and emergency service workers will also go on strike on 21 and 28 December in England and Wales, amid a dispute over pay raises and working conditions.

“Today is a tragic day for the UK’s National Health System”

Pat Cullen, General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the RCN Union, said in a statement that the public absolutely understood why nurses went on strike.

“They’re standing outside in the cold this morning. They’ve been thrown into the cold with the doors closed by this government. Today is a tragic day for nurses, a tragic day for the NHS,” Cullen said. made its assessment.

Stating that he met with British Health Minister Steve Barclay last week, Cullen continued his words as follows:

“After he called me for an interview, I went to his office with hope and there was an air of optimism. We walked into that room and it became clear that Steve Barclay wanted to talk about everything but wages, and I did most of the talking. Not a penny was put on the table for the nurses. hung up and walked away, turned her back on nursing and turned her back on patients.”

Strike wave grows in England

Many unions, who argue that salaries are falling in the face of the rising cost of living and inflation in the country, and therefore do not accept the proposed salary increase below the inflation exceeding 10 percent on an annual basis, are taking the decision to strike one after the other.

There are a wide range of occupational groups, especially teachers, bus drivers, port workers, journalists, civil servants, criminal lawyers, railway, airport, university, aviation and postal service workers, among the participants in the action to quit.

In addition to the strike decisions, thousands of people protesting the cost of living and austerity policies frequently organize demonstrations and marches across the country, especially in the capital, London.

The government, on the other hand, is looking for ways to cope with the growing wave of strikes. In this context, the British government warned that it could “respond hard” to trade unions that insisted on going on strike and stated that they are working on new laws against the strike wave. 

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