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The Independent

Rishi Sunak says nurse pay rise calls for ‘clearly unaffordable’

A pay rise demanded by nurses about to go on strike is “clearly unaffordable” the prime minister has mentioned.

Talking on Friday the prime minister claimed that calls for by the Royal College of Nursing amounted to a 19 per cent or £10 billion pay rise.

Mr Sunak mentioned he has “huge respect and gratitude” for nurses however instructed broadcasters: “What the unions are asking for, I believe, is a 19 per cent pay rise.

“And I believe most individuals watching will recognise that that is clearly unaffordable, and that is why I am happy that the Well being Secretary is sitting down, speaking to the union, and hopefully we will discover a method by means of this.”

Nurses in England, Wales and Northern Eire are to strike for 2 days in December in what is ready to be their greatest stoppage in NHS historical past.

They may nonetheless present emergency care, however routine operations are set to be hit.

In Scotland, the RCN has paused saying strike motion after the devolved Authorities there reopened NHS pay talks.

Royal School of Nursing basic secretary Pat Cullen mentioned in the present day that it was ministers who had “chosen strike motion” by refusing pay calls for.

“Nursing employees have had sufficient of being taken as a right, sufficient of low pay and unsafe staffing ranges, sufficient of not having the ability to give our sufferers the care they deserve,” she mentioned.

The RCN is asking for nurses to be given an increase at 5 per cent above RPI inflation. RPI is at present at 14 per cent.

Any rise of lower than inflation would characterize an actual phrases pay reduce for a sector that’s already fighting retention and recruitment.

The union says there’s a robust financial argument for paying nursing employees pretty was when billions of kilos are being spent on company employees to plug workforce gaps.

Based on RCN figures within the final 12 months 25,000 nursing employees across the UK left the Nursing and Midwifery Council register, whereas there are 47,000 unfilled registered nurse posts in England’s NHS alone.

Ms Cullen has urged Well being Secretary Steve Barclay to “cease the spin and begin to converse” with nurses to avert the walkout, which might happen on December 15 and December 20.

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