Nursing staff in Wales set to go on strike after rejecting pay offer

Nursing staff in Wales are to go on strike after rejecting a new NHS pay offer.

The Royal College of Nursing Wales (RCN Wales) said its members are to walk out on June 6-7 and July 12-13.

It comes after a clear majority of its members voted to turn down a revised pay offer for 2022-23 and a new pay offer for 2023-24, the union said.

RCN Wales director Helen Whyley described the move as “a last resort”, but said nursing staff had taken “the momentous decision to strike for fair pay and safe staffing levels”.

The union has written to the Minister for Health & Social Services Eluned Morgan seeking to urgently re-enter negotiations in light of the result of ballots, which saw the proposed new deal rejected by 53.21% of voters.

The industrial  action is set to include the day shift on each strike date.

Ms Whyley called for “a substantial offer from the Welsh government that reflects the magnitude of that decision”.

She said: “Today, we have heard our members loud and clear, and this latest decision only makes us more determined as a college to secure a meaningful and acceptable pay offer for the future of the profession.

“Nursing staff always act in the interests of their patients, and are the true ambassadors for our NHS.

“The government must act in their interest now, because protecting nursing protects the public.

“I have asked for pay talks to be opened immediately with the Minister for Health & Social Services so that our members do not need to return to picket lines.

“Strike action is always a last resort, but we have been pushed here yet again. If talks aren’t forthcoming, we won’t hesitate to strike, with stronger strike action than we’ve seen before.”