Tens of thousands of British healthcare workers are on strike in the UK

Strikes by public sector workers continue in the UK, with public health nurses and paramedics currently carrying out “the biggest strike in a decade”. Unions are calling for wage increases commensurate with the cost of living unleashed by the energy crisis, as well as an improvement in their working conditions. The trade unions who spoke to the press claim they have so far only held negotiations with the Secretary of State for Health, but with the two-day strike starting today, they want to force the British Prime Minister to personally negotiate the workers’ demands. .

LONDON, UK – 23 JANUARY: Striking paramedics, paramedics and ambulance drivers gather outside the Ambulance Service building in Waterloo, London, demanding the government for a “fair pay increase”. (Photo: Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The director of the nurses’ union, Patricia Marques, told the press on Monday that although they had been out of work for the past few days, they had not been able to contact Prime Minister Rishi Sunak directly.

The union leader said: They do not want the strikes to continue, so with the halt of the work of nurses and paramedics that started today, they are asking the prime minister to negotiate directly.

The government and health unions are still unable to agree on a wage increase for the current year 2022-2023. The government had already put in an offer earlier, but the trade unions are calling for more increases on the basis of inflation, which is still high. However, according to the government’s view, they will not be able to manage an increase higher than those previously proposed.

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And according to data from the opposition, which blames the unsustainability of the British healthcare system and the government, in 2022 the government spent £1 billion on maintaining healthcare institutions. According to the data published by them, expenses are increasing year after year, while the quality of care is deteriorating. According to the shadow government, the British leadership is not fulfilling its commitment in which it promised to build forty new hospitals in 2019.

At the same time, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs announced the disbursement of record amounts to develop the infrastructure of the health system. As reported, the UK government has invested £3.5 billion into the hospital program in the past four years and, while refurbishing hospitals, has provided additional funds to ensure uninterrupted care.

The workers’ strikes, which have been going on since last year, culminated on February 1, when teachers, university workers, train drivers, bus drivers, security guards and civil servants went on strike.

Sky News report here You can read.

Featured Image: Public sector workers demonstrate against the British government’s new strike law on January 30, 2023 in Downing Street in London.

Photo: EPA/Andy Ryan

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