General

Thousands of nurses begin 2-day strike in England

Thousands of nurses on Wednesday went on a planned 48-hour strike across England over a pay dispute.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) union are walking out of 55 hospital trusts across England on Wednesday and Thursday following a pay dispute with the government.

In a statement, RCN said government officials refused to take part in formal negotiations, "choosing strikes instead."

"People aren’t dying because nurses are striking. Nurses are striking because people are dying. That is how severe things are in the NHS and it is time the Prime Minister led a fight for its future," said Pat Cullen, the general secretary of the union.

The union on Monday announced Feb. 6-7 as the new strike dates in England and Wales, saying nurses will stage new walkouts unless progress is made by the end of this month.

"Today’s record number of unfilled nurse jobs cannot be left to get worse. Pay nursing staff fairly to turn this around and give the public the care they deserve," added Cullen.

Meanwhile, NHS staff, activists, and campaigners have been holding rallies in London to show solidarity with all striking NHS staff across the country.

Source: Anadolu Agency