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The nurses will go on strike in December; there is no other option… 

Belfast: Nurses are on strike in Northern Ireland, along with health workers in the UK. When the majority of nurses agreed to strike, the strike was officially declared. The nurses’ strike is currently expected to begin before Christmas. The decision is for a long strike until the month of May.

Nurses are on strike over a variety of issues, including low pay, overwork, and improved patient safety. The announcement of salary increase in July brought the NHS nurses to strike. The NHS promised a pay increase of £1,400 for health workers. According to the RCN, the increase is an insult to the nursing community.

Three lakh nurses voted in the strike ballot, but the leadership did not say how many of them supported the strike.

Nurses in Northern Ireland are struggling to make ends meet due to rising living costs. Due to political instability in Northern Ireland, HSC staff are even missing out on basic pay increases. A previous nursing strike in Northern Ireland was resolved by the last executive in early 2020. However, since the executive’s departure, nurses in Northern Ireland have not received equal pay as their colleagues in England. 

According to RCN General Secretary Pat Cullen, Northern Ireland nurses have responded positively to the call to action. Lakhs of nurses spoke with one voice in favour of the strike. She also stated that the nurses have shown increased anger.

The NHS’s credibility is eroding. She stated that there would be a strike in all areas of the NHS across the United Kingdom. However, the behaviour of members who oppose the strike is disappointing.

Former Health Minister Robin Swann stated that he had written to Northern Ireland Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris to address pay parity. Swan also demanded that the government intervene immediately to prevent a strike by nurses.

UK Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden said the NHS would prioritize essential services in the event of a strike, although surgeries would be affected.

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