Health Secretary Steve Barclay insists nurses get ‘reasonable’ pay rise as strike dates announced – UK Politics Live | Politics

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Key events

James Cleverly, the foreign minister, is in Kiev, where he has met the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The State Department says he has announced “a further £3m in support for the Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine to rebuild vital local infrastructure”. It says:

Through this fund, the UK is supporting the Government of Ukraine, local officials and Ukrainian communities to rebuild vital local infrastructure. This enables people to return to normal life by clearing debris from Russian attacks, making areas safe and rebuilding schools and shelters in towns and villages. This new funding will target areas recently liberated from Russian control in southern Ukraine, including Kherson Oblast.

Words are not enough.

Words will not keep the light on this winter. Words will not defend against Russian missiles.

Britain doesn’t just talk about Ukraine, we provide concrete support for the defense of Ukraine.

thank you @DmytroKuleba to welcome me to Kiev.

— James Cleverly🇬🇧 (@JamesCleverly) 25 November 2022

Life-sustaining and emergency treatment to be exempted from nurses’ strike, says RCN leader

Pat CullenRoyal College of Lactating secretary-general, told the Today program this morning that “life-saving services” and emergency aid would not be covered by the RCN strikes in December. But she said exact details of what would be exempt were still being worked out. She told the program:

What we will continue to provide are life-sustaining services. And they essentially fall into emergency care…

We will have very, very detailed and elaborate plans that every nurse who strikes is expected to adhere to.

And in each organization that is subject to industrial action, we are setting up within that organization a local strike committee which will be chaired by a senior member of my team who will be a registered nurse and also then a number of clinical experts who will guide and lead all decisions that will be made.

Asked if nurses would be in cancer wards on strike days, she replied:

Services such as oncology will be deprived or exempted from any strike. We have a number of services that we are working through at the moment that will be exempted on the day of the strike and we will be releasing that list to employers shortly.

Pressed on scans or cancer checks such as colonoscopies, she said:

All details are worked through. The services that are not considered life-saving or emergency services are not exempted. Those who fall under these particular descriptions will be disenfranchised.

Pat Cullen.
Pat Cullen. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA

Humza Yousafthe Scottish Government’s Minister for Health, has stressed that the proposed nurses’ strike will not cover Scotland.

To be clear, the RCN nurses strike covers England, Wales and NI, not Scotland. RCN Scotland is currently considering the record high salary offer we have put on the table. If accepted, it will give NHS (AfC) staff a pay rise of between £2205-£2751, highest paid NHS staff in the UK.

– Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) 25 November 2022

Royal Mail and university teachers’ strikes continue

Royal Mail workers and university lecturers are on strike again today in long-running disputes over pay, pensions, jobs and conditions, PA Media reports. PA says:

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and University and College Union (UCU) walked out on Thursday for 48 hours, with more action planned in the coming weeks.

Picket lines were again mounted outside universities and Royal Mail centers across the country on Black Friday – one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay insists nurses get ‘reasonable’ pay rise as strike dates announced

Good morning. Another day, another strike, because the Royal College from overnight Lactating has set the date for two 12-hour nursing strikes in December which will affect most of the UK. My co-workers Andrew Gregory and Jamie Grierson have the details here.

Pat Cullencharged the RCN General Secretary Steve Barclay, the health secretary, of being intransigent. She said:

If Barclay wants to meet with me, go around the table and stop the spinning and start talking, he can avert these strikes. My door is open day and night. I make myself available as well as my team on behalf of our nursing staff. That option is not available to me at this time, which is why he has chosen strikes over talking to me.

But in the tweets this morning Barclay insisted he was available for talks.

Our priority is to protect patients. The NHS has tried and tested plans in place to minimize disruption and ensure emergency services continue to operate, but strike action will inevitably have an impact on services.

— Steve Barclay (@SteveBarclay) 25 November 2022

My door is open to @theRCN if they want to discuss how we can improve the working life of nurses.

— Steve Barclay (@SteveBarclay) 25 November 2022

However, he also defended the salary offer that was already on the table as “fair”.

We have accepted the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body to give nurses a fair pay rise of at least £1,400 this year. This means that a newly qualified nurse will typically earn over £31,000 a year

— Steve Barclay (@SteveBarclay) 25 November 2022

I will write more about this soon. Here is the agenda for the day.

9.30: MPs debate a hinterland bill, starting with Liam Fox’s Electricity and Gas Transmission (Compensation) Bill.

10:00 a.m.: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, speaks at the Poverty Alliance conference in Glasgow.

11.30: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.

Lunch time: Keir Starmer is visiting Birmingham.

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