The Prime Minister will not offer striking NHS nurses a bigger pay rise, it was confirmed today after a union rejected the Government’s ‘final offer’.

Rishi Sunak‘s spokesperson today said pay negotiations with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will not be reopened.

The union confirmed on Friday that 54 per cent of balloted members in England rejected a five per cent pay rise this year plus a one-off bonus averaging 6 per cent.

The RCN, which said the offer was ‘simply not enough’, announced that its members would hold a 48-hour strike at the end of the month and be balloted over whether they wanted to back strike action for a further six months. 

Pat Cullen, chief executive of the union, today said that the RCN will ‘get a better deal’ and urged the Government to ‘pay nurses decently’ and ‘add to’ what they had already offered. 

Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson today said pay negotiations with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will not be reopened

Pat Cullen, chief executive of the union, today said that the RCN will ‘get a better deal’ and urged the Government to ‘pay nurses decently’ and ‘add to’ what they had already offered

But Downing Street has ruled out improving its pay offer and said talks will not be reopened after the rejection of the proposed deal.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said: ‘I think the RCN themselves, Pat Cullen herself, said this is the final offer. We agree.

‘The Royal College of Nursing was clear that talks will not be reopened if members reject the pay offer and we agree.’

Last month, the Government offered nurses a one-off payment for last year will see staff get between £1,655 and £3,789, depending on their pay. This is in addition to the £1,400 NHS staff received for 2022/23 last September.

The wage rise for this year is worth at least £1,065 and would raise the lowest hourly rate in the NHS in England to £11.45 an hour, or £22,383 a year.

At the time, Ms Cullen asked members to ‘support what our negotiations have secured’, despite previously campaigning for an 18 per cent rise.

But announcing that only 46 per cent of balloted RCN members backed the reward, she said: ‘After a historic vote to strike, our members expect a historic pay award.’

The RCN has argued that an above inflation pay rise is needed to help nurses combat the cost of living crisis and stop staff leaving the NHS for better paying jobs in supermarkets or abroad. 

Asked today on Good Morning Britain whether she could get a better deal, Ms Cullen said: ‘Yes we will have to get a better deal. 

‘What I would say to the Government, if they’re watching this morning – for goodness sake, this is not about point scoring. 

‘This is not about who can be the smartest person in the class. this is about trying to take the NHS back from the brink. That’s what our nursing staff are trying to do. 

‘We need to fill the 47,000 vacant nursing posts. we won’t do that unless we pay these nurses decently. but they need to leave on the table what this Government put on last month. Don’t take anything off and add to it. 

‘Treat these nurses fairly, value them and lets move on from this. then we won’t have strikes to Christmas. 

She added: ‘Nursing staff are saying we will stand up for our patients. We will work night and day for our patients. We will lose pay and stand on picket lines for our patients. But you will have to pay us at the end of the day.’ 

But in a letter to Ms Cullen yesterday, the Health Secretary said the Government’s offer is ‘a fair and reasonable settlement that acknowledges the dedication of NHS staff’.

Mr Barclay wrote: ‘After you recommended the deal be accepted, I am disappointed that given the turnout, a rejection from less than half of your members was sufficient for a narrow rejection overall.’

He noted that Unison, which represents thousands of NHS nurses, ambulance and hospital staff ‘decisively accepted’ the same offer on Friday, while other unions are still considering it. 

Ms Cullen confirmed that the next nurses strike will run over the early May Bank Holiday, from 8pm on April 30 to 8pm on May 2

It puts to end the dispute that saw tens of thousands of union members strike over the winter months, leading to mass disruption across the health service

Ms Cullen confirmed that the next nurses strike will run over the early May Bank Holiday, from 8pm on April 30 to 8pm on May 2.

It follows a four-day walk out among junior doctors last week, which saw hundreds of thousands of operations and appointments cancelled. 

Unlike previous strikes by nurses, this action will be without any exemptions, meaning it will not provide staff to cover emergency, intensive or cancer care.

She urged Health Secretary Steve Barclay to meet to open negotiations as soon as possible to, warning that nurses are ‘forced back to the picket line’ until there is a ‘significantly improved offer’.

The upcoming strike action is the last the RCN can legally hold, as the union is only allowed to organise walkouts within six months of its original industrial action ballot. 

But if nurses back strikes in an upcoming ballot, it would allow walkouts for a further six months and could open the door to both nurses and junior doctors striking at the same time, if the RCN and the British Medical Association (BMA) decide to coordinate walkouts.

Mr Barclay said he was ‘disappointed and concerned’ that the union was taking to picket lines again and warned its approach will ‘put patients at risk’. 

He added: ‘The strike action you have called will cause significant disruption at a time when the NHS is already under extreme pressure.’

Where will nurses strike on April 30? 

The RCN has said the 48-hour, no exceptions walkout will be held at the following NHS workplaces in England.:

East Midlands 

Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust 

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust 

East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust 

Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

NHS Derby and Derbyshire ICB 

NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB 

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust 

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust 

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust 

Eastern 

Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust 

Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust 

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust 

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust 

NHS Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB 

NHS Mid and South Essex ICB 

NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB 

NHS Suffolk and North East Essex ICB 

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust 

Norfolk Community Health and Care 

NHS Trust Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust 

London 

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust 

Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust 

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust 

Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

NHS North Central London ICB 

NHS South West London ICB 

Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust 

St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust 

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

North West 

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust 

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust 

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 

Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust 

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust 

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

NHS Cheshire and Merseyside ICB 

NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB 

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust 

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 

Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust 

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust 

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust 

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust 

Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust 

Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust 

Northern 

Country Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust 

Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust 

North of England Commissioning Support (NECS) 

North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust 

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust 

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust 

South East 

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust 

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust 

NHS Kent and Medway ICB 

NHS Surrey Heartlands ICB 

Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

South East Coast Ambulance Service 

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust 

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 

University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust 

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust 

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust 

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust 

Solent NHS Trust 

South Central Ambulance Services NHS Foundation Trust 

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust 

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust 

South West 

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust 

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 

Devon Partnership NHS Trust 

Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust 

Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust 

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

NHS Bath, North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire ICB 

NHS Devon ICB (One Devon) 

NHS Dorset ICB (One Dorset) 

NHS Gloucestershire ICB (One Gloucestershire) 

North Bristol NHS Trust 

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust 

Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust 

Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust 

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust 

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust 

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust 

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust 

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust 

University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust 

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust 

West Midlands 

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust 

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust 

Midlands and Lancashire CSU 

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 

NHS Birmingham and Solihull ICB (BSol ICB) 

NHS Black Country ICB 

Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust 

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust 

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust 

Yorkshire and the Humber 

Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust 

Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust 

NHS North West Yorkshire ICB 

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust 

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust 

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 

York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

National employers 

Health Education England 

NHS Blood and Transplant 

NHS England NHS Resolution 

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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