NURSES in the United Kingdom have reached breaking point.
As many as 100,000 members of the Royal College of Nursing will walk out across England, Wales and Northern Ireland on Thursday in the first of two days of strikes this month to protest poor pay and working conditions. They plan to walk out again on December 20. (Nurses in Scotland are negotiating a separate pay offer), CNN report.
It’s the first time in its 106-year history that the RCN — the UK’s biggest nursing union — has gone on strike in England. The action has been sparked by a cost-of-living crisis that has slashed nurses’ spending power nearly three years after the start of a pandemic that pushed many to their limits.
“It is pretty unprecedented,” Billy Palmer, senior fellow at Nuffield Trust, a health research firm, told CNN. While small pockets of nursing staff have walked out before, the country’s National Health Service has seen “nothing of this scale until now,” he added.