Nurse strike: This is when Preston and Chorley nurses will walk out over pay
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The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has announced that the next round of industrial action will take place on January 18 and 19 – and members from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which runs the Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital – are on the list.
Two days of strike action were held in England, Northern Ireland and Wales on December 15 and 20, but members from Lancashire were not selected for those dates, as a rota system is worked.
"Chosen to push nursing staff out into the cold”
RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen said: “The Government had the opportunity to end this dispute before Christmas but instead they have chosen to push nursing staff out into the cold again in January.
“I do not wish to prolong this dispute, but the Prime Minister has left us with no choice.”
What’s it all about?
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) started balloting its members for strike action in October in a bid for higher wages.
RCN members at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals voted for strike action with a “very small majority”, but members at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital failed to get enough votes.
The RCN say that the most experienced frontline nurses are around £10,000 worse off a year now than in 2008.
The union wants a 19 per cent pay rise for nurses, however the government has said that is "unaffordable" and it has met independent recommendations on nurses' pay.
Ms Cullen, who has been visiting picket lines across the UK, said: “The public support has been heart-warming and I am more convinced than ever that this is the right thing to do for patients and the future of the NHS.
“The voice of nursing will not be ignored. Staff shortages and low pay make patient care unsafe – the sooner ministers come to the negotiating table, the sooner this can be resolved. I will not dig in, if they don’t dig in.”
Members in Scotland have rejected the latest NHS pay offer from the Scottish government and will be joining their colleagues across the UK on the picket line should strike action be escalated.