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It’s now up to the government to avert NHS strikes by fixing wages

Belfast: The NHS will hold a vote to determine whether nurses in Northern Ireland want a salary increase.

As nurses prepare to strike in protest of the government’s promised pay increases, the NHS has called for a referendum to determine whether a pay increase is essential. This request was issued to 3,000,000 members. The polling, which began in December, will conclude on November 2.

The RCN is demanding a pay rise that outpaces the current rate of inflation.

The government is proposing a three percent pay increase as proposed by the Pay Review Body. This would result in a weekly wage difference of only £72 for nurses. Nurses are requesting pay that is 5% greater than inflation. If this demand is not met, the union warns that many more excellent nurses will be lost. A new analysis by London Economics has found that the real income of nurses is 6% lower than that of private sector workers. The RCN’s top executive has stated that he will not meet with nurses if they are not paid a reasonable salary.

The Northern Ireland head of the Royal College of Nursing has urged enough pay to prevent nurses from leaving the NHS. Pat Cullen, general secretary, issued this statement as nurses prepare to strike.

According to the union, nurses are battling to defend the health-care industry. Due to staff shortages, it is difficult to provide patients with safe treatment. There are hundreds of thousands of nurse vacancies across the country. Meanwhile, nurses continue to quit the profession, and those who remain struggle to provide patients with safe care. In hospital emergency departments, patients must wait for extended periods of time. The union emphasizes the need to resolve this issue as well.

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