Nurses will go on strike tomorrow as government refuses to negotiate.
RCN Chief Executive Pat Cullen met with Health Secretary Steve Barclay on Monday to potentially begin formal pay negotiations in order to avert strike action.
However, Mr Barclay refused to discuss pay saying that 'there was no extra money on the table.'
'I expressed my deep disappointment at the belligerence that was shown, they closed their books and walked away,” said Ms Cullen after the meeting.
She added: 'I needed to come out of this meeting with something serious to show nursing staff why they should not strike this week. Regrettably, they’re not getting an extra penny.'
A spokesperson from the Department of Health and Social Care told Sky News that Mr Barclay expressed to Ms Cullen how granting pay increases for nurses would take money from frontline services.
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'The economic circumstances mean unions’ demands are not affordable, each additional 1% pay rise for all staff on the Agenda for Change contract would cost around £700 million a year,'said Mr Barclay.
Ms Cullen was willing to negotiate with the Health Secretary, making it clear that if he did not want to do it directly, then the RCN would be open to ACAS conciliation which would have also paused strike action.
The minister however repeatedly declined to have a formal negotiation about pay.
Strike action will begin tomorrow across England and the RCN are urging members to be on strike unless they have seen evidence that the RCN have agreed to an exemption from strike action.