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Northern Ireland’s nurses set for December strike

NHS staffImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption There are nearly 2,500 unfilled nursing posts throughout the system in Northern Ireland

Nurses in Northern Ireland will go on strike over staffing numbers and pay disputes on 18 December, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has stated.

The union stated its members had been planning 12 hours of strike motion – the primary within the RCN’s 103-year historical past – having voted for the transfer final week.

There are extra dates of strike motion deliberate for the brand new yr.

The well being division stated it remained “focused on finding a way forward” and was finalising a pay provide for 2019-20.

“This will be the best offer possible within the budget available, but the reality is that our ability to address pay issues is inevitably constrained at a time of intense budgetary pressures for health and social care services,” stated a division spokesperson.

The nurses’ first day of business motion, which incorporates refusing to do any job that isn’t patient-specific, might be on 3 December.

The industrial motion may even embody:

  • Not working extra time
  • Not working unpaid hours
  • Not finishing paperwork aside from particular person affected person data

There are 2,484 registered nurses and 454 nursing help employee vacancies in Northern Ireland, in line with the newest accessible statistics, which had been printed in June.

Nurses’ pay throughout the well being service additionally continues to fall behind England, Scotland and Wales, the RCN stated.

The union stated this was having a detrimental affect on affected person care and including stress to the prevailing workforce.

Image copyright Getty Images

In a poll held over 4 weeks, 96% of nurses balloted voted in favour of business motion, with 92% backing strike motion. The turnout was 43.3%.

The complete variety of these balloted was about 8,000.

The RCN’s Northern Ireland director Pat Cullen stated after the vote that nurses had “spoken clearly”.

The Department of Health stated that, regardless of claims on the contrary, there was “no separate or untapped source of funding that we can access – nor can money simply be found in the budget”.

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