After an unprecedented wave of strikes in the British health service NHS, the government has reached an agreement with the unions in the wage dispute. The government announced in London on Thursday that more than a million employees in England would receive a significant wage increase.
The agreement provides for a one-off payment of at least £1,250 (€1,425) for the current tariff year and an increase of at least 5 percent from April. The largest unions advised their members to accept the deal. Planned strikes are suspended.
As recently as Wednesday, tens of thousands of public sector employees, including many medical assistants, demonstrated in London for higher wages. Hundreds of thousands walked out across the country. Health Secretary Steve Barclay on Thursday called on residents to join other professionals in agreeing to the offer.
The Conservative government had long refused to negotiate more money for NHS workers, claiming it would only fuel high inflation. Now she spoke of a fair solution. "It is right that we are rewarding our hard-working NHS workers who have shown courage and dedication during the pandemic (...)" Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said. The agreement is affordable for taxpayers.
Shortly before Christmas, the nurses' union RCN called on its members to go on strike for the first time in its history. Rescue workers also went on strike. Labor disputes in various sectors have repeatedly paralyzed the country for months. For example, there is still no solution for all groups of employees and for all companies at the railways.
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