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RCN opens donations to strike fund in response to public support

The RCN has launched a donation page for members of the public to financially assist nursing staff on strike

The RCN has launched a donation page for members of the public to financially assist nursing staff on strike.

During strikes, nursing staff forfeit a day’s wage for each day of action they take part in. To protect them from the financial impact of this fight for patient safety, they can receive £50 for each day they strike through the RCN strike fund. Members of the public can now show their support for nursing strike action by donating to the fund.

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‘We’re all paying the price for the UK government’s failure to pay nursing staff fairly. The NHS is in crisis and nursing staff have been forced to strike to protect our profession and our patients’ said RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen.

‘More than a decade of real-terms pay cuts have put the nursing profession and safe patient care at risk. Shifts are understaffed, tens of thousands of posts are vacant and nursing staff are struggling to keep afloat.

The strikes are planned for Thursday 15 and Tuesday 20 December at NHS employers across England and Wales, and HSC employers throughout Northern Ireland.

‘Governments think if they ignore nursing staff for long enough our members will be forced to give in,’ added Ms Cullen.

‘But we know something they don’t. We know that the public is with us, shoulder to shoulder with nursing staff.’

Plans for strike action in Scotland have been paused after the Scottish government returned to the negotiating table to avert strikes. It made a new NHS pay offer last week, which eligible members in Scotland will now be consulted on.

Chemotherapy, dialysis, critical care units (for example ITU/HDU), neonatal and paediatric intensive care units are the services exempt from strike action.

‘Every member of nursing staff feels a heavy weight of responsibility to make this strike safe. Patients are already at great risk and we will not add to it,’ said Ms Cullen, commenting on the exemptions.

‘This list of exemptions shows how seriously we take our commitment and it should put patients’ minds at ease. Nursing staff do not want to take this action but ministers have chosen strikes over negotiations. They can stop this at any point.’

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