The Royal College of Nursing has told the Health Secretary it is negotiations on pay “or nothing” after he urged the union to return for talks about working conditions to avert strikes.
Steve Barclay on Saturday continued his refusal to discuss pay as nurses prepare to strike on December 15th and 20th unless they get a 19 per cent rise.
He wrote to the RCN urging its representatives to “come back to the table” for talks, with a Whitehall source suggesting these could include subjects such as pension arrangements, holidays, rosters and the availability of free coffee.
But the RCN’s general secretary Pat Cullen swiftly responded with a letter saying she would only be returning for pay talks after members voted heavily in favour of industrial action.
“I’m afraid the position of my members is ‘negotiations or nothing’,” she wrote.
“You cannot shut them out and then repeat that your door is open. If the negotiation table is empty, we can see you are not serious about progress.
“This dispute needs resolving and strike action is now little over a fortnight away.
“On behalf of every nurse, let’s negotiate.”
Jeer for carers
Kelvin MacKenzie, the former editor of The S*n, tweeted today that we should organise a “jeer for carers” in response to the strike action.
During his time as editor, the tabloid regularly published anti-LGBT stories, and propagated fear and ignorance around the HIV AIDS breakout in the 1980s.
Stories published by the newspaper while he was editor included claiming straight people can’t get Aids, writing that Aids is a “gay plague” and calling gay vicars “pulpit poofs”.