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First strikes by British nurses scheduled on December 15 and 20

Following a winter of industrial action, thousands of British nurses will walk out on Dec. 15 and 20 in protest of lower pay, their union announced on Friday. This will increase pressure on the government-run healthcare system.


The National Health Service (NHS) nurses’ strikes are the first of potentially several walkouts after the government rebuffed their demands for salary increases that are 5% above inflation.


Pat Cullen, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said, ‘Nursing staff have had enough of being taken for granted, enough of poor pay and hazardous staffing levels, and enough of not being able to offer our patients the care they need.’


In the two weeks since the RCN announced nurses would strike for the first time in the union’s 106-year history, Cullen claimed the government had rejected formal negotiations.


According to British Health Secretary Steve Barclay, the government will give the nurses raises of at least 1,400 pounds each this year, which would be less than the 19.2% pay increase the nurses are demanding, which would cost 10 billion pounds ($12.13 billion) annually.


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