‘Chink of optimism’ for striking nurses as Sunak suggests one-off bonus payment


Ministers are set to meet health unions today for talks after Sunak showed a willingness to address demands for higher rates of pay.

According to the Guardian, ministers are looking at a “one-off” payment to nurses which could appear in the form of a cost-of-living payment.

In a BBC television interview on Sunday, Sunak was asked whether pay rises in 2023 were possible.

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He replied: “We want to have these conversations. We’re about to start a new pay settlement round for this year [2023-4]. Before that process starts, the government is keen to sit down with the unions and talk about pay and make sure they understand where we’re coming from.”

Chief of Royal College of Nursing (RCN), Pat Cullen, described Sunak’s comments as a “chink of optimism”, explaining that strikes set to start mid-January could be avoided.

However, RCN director for England, Patricia Marquis told Sky News there was a “less than 50-50 chance of avoiding strikes this month.”

She continued: “If there are chinks of hope, if there are further meetings, then my colleagues and I will all maintain optimism that we can get a resolution.”

When Health Secretary Steve Barclay meets heath union leaders today, he is set to be focused on the next year’s pay review process, rather than the current pay dispute.

Tags : NHSRishi Sunakstrikestrikes
Gemma Lloyd

The author Gemma Lloyd

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