RCN Announces Strike Days in Wales
Written by Gavin on 25th November 2022
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has announced its first strike action will take place on Thursday 15 and Tuesday 20 December 2022.
The announcement comes after the governments in Wales, England and Northern Ireland turned down the RCN’s offer of formal, detailed negotiations as an alternative to strike action.
RCN Wales announced that nursing staff at all NHS employers across Wales had voted to take strike action over pay and patient safety, however Aneurin Bevan University Health Board unfortunately did not meet the legal threshold.
An experienced nurse has seen their pay decline by at least 20% in real terms due to successive below-inflation awards since 2010.
In 2021/22, NHS Wales spent £133.4m on agency nursing, an increase of 41% on the previous year. This is equivalent to the salaries of 4,930 newly qualified nurses.
RCN Wales Director, Helen Whyley, said:
“Wales’s First Minister has had more than two weeks since we confirmed our historic result on the RCN’s statutory ballot for industrial action, where our members voted overwhelmingly for strike action. We have been met with silence.
“The Welsh government was allocated an extra £1.2bn in the Autumn Statement. RCN Wales has called for the Welsh government to enter meaningful conversations regarding nursing pay as a final chance for ministers to put a stop to the action that nursing staff feel they have no other option but to take. Still, we hear nothing.
“A debate was held in the Senedd last night to urge the Welsh government to use everything in their disposal to give nursing staff the pay and recognition they deserve. Clearly the reality of strike action on
the horizon is setting in for some ministers and the realisation of the profound effect this will have in Wales and across the UK. And yet, still nothing from the Welsh government.”
RCN Wales Board Chair, Richard Jones MBE, said:
“We have given every opportunity to put a stop to what is a last resort for nursing staff, but the time has now come to stand up for our nurses who are pushed to their limits and patients who are suffering as a result of lack of planning and investment in the workforce.
“This is the first time in the history of the RCN in Wales that nurses have decided to strike – what more is there to say?”