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RCN cancels strikes in Wales following new NHS pay offer

3 Feb 2023

Pressure mounts on Prime Minister to start urgent talks in England to avert next week’s strikes.

Cardiff picket line

The RCN has cancelled its strike action in Wales next week following a new NHS pay offer from the Welsh government for the current financial year (2022-23).  

The offer is for an additional 3%, half of which will be carried over into future pay awards. Members working for the NHS in Wales will now be consulted on the offer.  

It means pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to offer NHS staff in England a fair pay rise and we’re demanding he urgently meets with us to formally negotiate.  

It comes as negotiations in Scotland continue to progress, leaving Westminster as the only government refusing to reconsider the impact of current NHS pay levels and rejecting negotiations that would avert strike action.  

The RCN will escalate its strike action in England on Monday (6 February) and Tuesday (7 February), with action at 73 NHS trusts compared to 44 in December and 55 in January. 

RCN members in Northern Ireland will not be striking on this occasion. 

RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen said: “If the other governments can negotiate and find more money for this year, the Prime Minister can do the same.  

“Rishi Sunak has no place left to hide. His unwillingness to help nursing staff is being exposed as a personal choice, not an economic necessity.  

“Again, we are making good on our commitment to cancel strikes when ministers negotiate and make pay offers to our members. First in Scotland and now in Wales too.  

“If the Prime Minister decides to leave England’s nursing staff as the lowest paid in the UK, he must expect this strike to continue. He can still turn things around before Monday – start talking seriously and the strikes are off.” 

The value of salaries for experienced nurses today are 20% lower in real terms due to successive below-inflation pay awards since 2010.  

Yesterday (2 February) the RCN handed in a petition to 10 Downing Street signed by more than 110,000 members of the public, nursing staff and patients calling for the Prime Minister to pay nursing staff fairly.  

On his 100th day in office, the letter pointed to official NHS data which showed the NHS is deteriorating rapidly under his leadership.  

Page last updated - 04/07/2023