Ukraine’s second-largest assistance provider is the UK, but the British NHS staff remains under economic pressure. It is time for the warlike Government to cut down on its military spending and think of NHS staff in a severe cost-of-living crisis. RCN pay negotiation is different from the solution to the economic problem. RCN members vote to reject the Government’s low-pay offer. The pay offer is much lower than the inflation rate.
NHS staff have realized that RCN pay negotiation cannot lead to a good rise in their salary. Tens of thousands of nurses are taking part in strike actions. Real-term cuts for junior doctors could be better. The warlike Government is calling for an end to strike actions. However, it must end its imperialistic idea of NATO expansion and its imperialistic policies in Ukraine. Then it can afford wage rises and manage the cost of living crisis. This article discusses these issues in detail.
RCN members’ rejection of the Government’s low-pay offer
According to Labourist, RCN members have voted to reject a pay offer from the Government. The nursing union has announced a further 48-hour walkout later this month. The RCN has revealed that its members have voted to reject the Government’s deal. 54% voted against the offer on a turnout of 61%.
What the Government’s low pay offer include
As Labourist say, the Government’s pay deal includes a one-off payment of 2% of members’ salaries. Moreover, it consists of a Covid recovery bonus of 4% for the financial year 2022/23. Furthermore, there is a 5% pay increase for 2023/24.
The RCN has announced that its members will participate in a 48-hour strike. The strike will be from 8 pm on Apr 30 until 8 pm on May 2. It said staff working in departments of emergency, intensive care units, cancer care and other units would take part in strike action for the first time.
RCN’s reaction to low pay offer
Politico says the Government has “completed negotiations and reached a final offer” with the NHS Staff Council. The offer includes additional pay for 2022/23 and a pay settlement for 2023/24. A government official says the lowest-paid staff will get 8.2 per cent of their annual salary as a one-off payment. For the highest-paid team, it will be 3.5 per cent.
NHS staff are not satisfied with the Government’s low pay offer. As Labourist says, RCN general secretary Pat Cullen urged Health Secretary Steve Barclay to open direct negotiations with her. She said: “What has been offered to date is not enough. The Government must increase its previous offer. Cullen adds they will be highly critical of any move to reduce the pay. She states that meetings alone are not sufficient to prevent strike action. NHS requires an improved offer as soon as possible.
Warlike Government’s cruel response to striking nurses
RCN pay negotiation is not the solution to the low pay offer issue. Strike action can work. According to Labourist, tens of thousands of nurses have taken part in multiple days of strike action in recent months. According to Sky News, NHS nurses in emergency departments, intensive care and cancer wards will also take industrial action for the first time.
The Government is punishing nurses for rejecting its low-pay offer. RCN pay negotiation will not be fruitful. NHS staff can get their rights through strike action and protests. According to the BBC, RCN members believe the Government is punishing nurses for rejecting the Government’s pay offer. The union calls the Government’s reaction cruel and unacceptable.
Cut for junior doctors but rise for military spending.
RCN pay negotiation will not work as effectively as strike action. The Government does not care about cuts in junior doctors’ salaries. It only attempts to increase military spending excessively. According to British Medical Association, workload and waiting lists are at record highs. However, the Government has cut junior doctors’ pay by more than 25 per cent since 2008. Junior doctors call for full-pay restoration: a crippling cost-of-living crisis, burnout and well-below-inflation pay rise risk driving hard-working doctors out of their profession. The Government must engage and address doctors’ concerns to protect the NHS.
As Reuters (Dec 24, 2022) says, Britain will increase defence spending by over 1 billion pounds ($1.21 billion). Its purpose is to avoid real-terms cut over the next two years. Military experts estimate that the Ministry of Defence budget in 2024/25 must rise to 50.1 billion pounds from 48.6 billion.
Warlike Government Calling for a Pause in strike action
According to Labourist, the Government argues NHS staff must “significantly reduce” their demand. They must pause strike action before negotiations can start. Sky News reports that an NHS leader has warned that escalating nurses’ strike in England will endanger patient safety. Conservative Party Chairman Greg Hands told Sky News, “We think that we’ve made a fair and reasonable offer.
As RCN Website says, NHS staff have the right to participate in lawful strike action. Through strike action, they are fighting for the pay they deserve. Employers are responsible for the provision of life-preserving services.
The warlike Government must stop excessive military spending and pay NHS staff fair salaries. RCN pay negotiation is useless as it cannot lead to NHS staff achieving their objective. The UK’s warlike Government is spending too much on military purposes. As a government spokesperson told Reuters, England has one of the enormous defence budgets in Europe. In 2020, it announced the most significant increase in defence spending since the Cold War.