UK health workers stage 'biggest NHS strike' in history

9 Feb 2023 • Tens of thousands of nurses and ambulance workers walked off their jobs in England on Monday, demanding better pay. Though strikes have persisted in the country for nearly a year, as workers in different sectors call for pay increases to correspond with two-digit inflation figures and a cost-of-living crisis, Monday was the first time nurses and paramedics both walked out on the same day.

The Unite trade union called it the "biggest NHS strike in our history"

Why are the health care workers striking? Nurses argue that their strike is to preserve the profession, which they say many are abandoning in favor of more lucrative jobs.

"We're already on our knees. It's only going to get worse because more and more people will leave the profession," Others argued that the understaffing issue posed a risk to patients. The UK reported inflation of 10.5% in December last year, maintaining a nearly 40-year-all-time-high. While inflation is putting pressure on several public workers, the Conservative government argues that raising salaries with the rate unions are demanding would stand in the way of bringing inflation down.

The nurses strike is scheduled to run for 48 hours. Ambulance staff are expected to strike again on Friday, and physiotherapists today, making the week probably the most disruptive in NHS history, its Medical Director Stephen Powis said. Source: NH | Read full story

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