RCN announces 48 hour strikes across the NHS

Up to 128 NHS employers in England are expected to take part in the RCN strikes next month, in response to the Prime Minister’s continued reluctance to discuss pay, which is leaving nursing staff in England behind.

The upcoming strikes will run from Wednesday 1 March to the morning of Friday 3 March and will run ceaselessly for 48 hours, wherein all members involved will be called to withdraw their labour.

On their webpage, the RCN have said that: “For 24-hour services, strike action will commence at the beginning of the local day shift and continue until the same time on 3 March. For services that are not 24-hour services, strike action will start at 6am on 1 March and end at the same time on 3 March.”

The RCN have also increased their strike benefit payments to £80 a day, rising to £120 for members who have taken strike action for four or more days.

Around 5,000 exemptions were agreed during previous phases of industrial action, including local NHS hospitals in areas of severe need. In the forthcoming strikes, however, the RCN have stated there will be no “wide-ranging derogations in place” and services will be reduced to an “absolute minimum.”

RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen said of the strikes: “I will do whatever I can to ensure patient safety is protected. At first, we asked thousands to keep working during the strikes but it’s clear that is only prolonging the dispute. This action must not be in vain – the Prime Minister owes them an answer.”

Picket lines are to be arranged across the UK and members can expect updates on these soon. For more information please click here.