Steve Barclay, the UK health minister, stated today that he would not reopen pay discussions with the nurses’ union, amid the possibility of more strikes.
The union members of the Royal College of Nursing turned down the government’s proposal in April. The proposal included a one-time bonus of 2 per cent of their salaries for the 2022/23 fiscal year and a 5 per cent increase for 2023/24.
Barclay told Sky News that the government would not negotiate “on the amount of pay” when he was questioned on Sunday.
The union, which has 300,000 members, is currently asking them to vote on whether to strike again in the next six months.
Reuters could not get a comment from the union right away after Barclay’s comments. The union has demanded that the National Health Service (NHS) staff be paid “fairly.”
The union and the government have had a tense relationship since late April when the health department restricted the duration of a strike following a legal challenge against the RCN. The strike had affected patient care.