Other health unions are also voting workers into union action. On Thursday evening, GMB Scotland announced the suspension of strikes due to start next week as it consults with its members over a new wage offer from the Scottish Government.
Midwives and physiotherapists are also voting on strikes, while a polling station for junior doctors will open in the new year.
Steve Barclay, Minister of Health and Social Care, said: “I am immensely grateful for the hard work and dedication of nurses and deeply regret that some union members will take industrial action.
“These are challenging times for everyone and the economic conditions mean that RCN’s demands, which according to current figures are a 19.2 per cent wage increase, costing £10bn a year, are not affordable.
“We have prioritized the NHS with an additional £6.6bn, on top of previous record funding, and accepted the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body to give nurses a fair wage increase of at least £1,400 this year. This means that a newly graduated nurse will typically earn more than £31,000 a year – while older nurses earn much more – they will also receive a pension contribution worth 20 per cent of their salary.
“Our priority is patient safety. The NHS has put in place proven plans to minimize disruption and ensure emergency services continue to operate.”
NHS Confederation pledges to prioritize patient safety
Matthew Taylor, CEO of the NHS Confederation, said: “Health leaders understand that this can be an uncertain time for many people, including those who routinely depend on the NHS, and that these strikes come ahead of what is usually the busiest time. of the year for the service.
“The expectation remains that urgent, urgent and critical care services will continue at a minimum on strike days and if there are any temporary changes to non-urgent aspects of care, such as check-ups and scheduled procedures, the NHS will ensure that this is communicated to patients in advance, where their safety is paramount at all times.”
Wes Streeting, shadow secretary of health, said: “Why on earth is the health minister refusing to negotiate with nurses? Patients can already not be treated in time, strikes are the last thing they need, and yet the government allows this to happen. Patients will never forgive the conservatives for this negligence.”
Meanwhile, senior GPs from the British Medical Association on Thursday urged colleagues to become “activists” to rally support for GP union action. Dr. Kieran Shannon made the call at a conference of local medical committees, who voted on Thursday to shorten the GP’s opening hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
GPs said expecting their practices to be open from 8am to 6.30pm discriminated against those seeking to start a family, which mainly affected women due to a “still patriarchal” society.