For the first time in 106 years… British nurses are going on strike amid an historic social crisis

For the first time in 106 years… British nurses are going on strike amid an historic social crisis
For the first time in 106 years… British nurses are going on strike amid an historic social crisis

For the first time in 106 years… British nurses are going on strike amid an historic social crisis

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British nurses are on strike on December 15-20, an unprecedented movement in 106 years that shows the depth of the UK’s social crisis, amid strikes in many sectors the country has not seen in decades.

“Nurses are fed up,” said Pat Cullen, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing Federation. “Enough of low salaries (…) enough of inability to give patients the care they deserve.”

A vote was held on November 9th in favor of this unprecedented strike in the history of the Royal College, which was founded 106 years ago. On Friday, the association announced two days of action on December 15 and 20 after “the government refused to negotiate”.

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

But for Health Secretary Steve Barclay “this is a difficult time for everyone” and the government is unable to meet the Royal College of Nursing’s “priceless” demands, which “represent a 19.2% pay rise”.

“We are exhausted. We’re fed up. We need a raise to survive,” Amira, a nurse at a London hospital who voted in favor of the strike, told AFP.

There are nurses who oppose the strike, fearing that the mobilization will harm patients. But for Amira, who declined to give her full name, “the British government is the one manipulating patient health by not increasing salaries.”

He spoke about the Covid phase and colleagues who lost their lives during the pandemic: “For what reason? Just for the government and the world to applaud us?”

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