The Prime Minister has said that he is “disappointed” over the widespread strikes which are affecting “so many people’s lives” this Christmas, but insists he will not negotiate on pay.
Rishi Sunak is refusing to budge on negotiations on public sector pay insisting that in the long term this is the “right thing” so the UK can “beat inflation.”
Sunak said on Friday that the government are acting fairly and reasonably” and he will not negotiate on pay as this will risk stoking inflation.
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Sunak said, “I am really sad and I am disappointed about the disruption that is being caused to so, so many people’s lives, particularly at Christmas time.”
He told broadcasters that he has “acted fairly and reasonably” in accepting public sector pay recommendations from the so called independent pay review body.
Sunak added, “I want to make sure we reduce inflation, part of that is being responsible when it comes to setting public sector pay.
“In the long term it’s the right thing for the whole country that we beat inflation.”
Once again, we offered talks. Once again Ministers refused to get round the table. Once again nursing staff are left with no choice.
For the protection of our patients & profession, our next strike will take place on 18 & 19 January 2023.
— The RCN (@theRCN) December 23, 2022
Royal College of Nursing (RCN), general secretary Pat Cullen said the Prime Minister has “left us with no choice” but to act.
“The Government had the opportunity to end this dispute before Christmas but instead they have chosen to push nursing staff out into the cold again in January.
“The public support has been heart-warming and I am more convinced than ever that this is the right thing to do for patients and the future of the NHS.
“Staff shortages and low pay make patient care unsafe, the sooner Ministers come to the negotiating table, the sooner this can be resolved. I will not dig in, if they don’t dig in.”