April 14, 2023 -LONDON (AP) — A British nursing union on Friday rejected a pay offer from the government, dashing hopes of a quick end to a months-long wave of public-sector strikes that has disrupted schools, hospitals and services.
However, another major health union voted to accept the deal.
The Royal College of Nursing said its members would walk out again later this month. after 54% voted to reject the offer of a lump sum payment for 2022-23 and a 5% raise this year.
General Secretary Pat Cullen said members would strike for 48 hours starting April 30. For the first time, the walkout will include nurses working in intensive care, emergency rooms and cancer wards.
“What has been offered to date is simply not enough,” she said, adding: “Until there is a significantly improved offer, we are forced back to the picket line.”
In contrast, Unison, which represents health workers including ambulance crews, hospital porters and some nurses, said 74% of its members voted to accept the offer
“Clearly health workers would have wanted more, but this was the best that could be achieved through negotiation,” said Unison’s head of health, Sara Gorton. “Over the past few weeks, health workers have weighed up what’s on offer. They’ve opted for the certainty of getting the extra cash in their pockets soon.”