Saturday, May 25

Health secretary says ‘no alternative’ however to take nursing union to courtroom over strikes – as RCN vows to combat ‘bullies’

The authorities will take a nursing union to courtroom subsequent week in an try and cease its newest strike motion.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) are as a result of walk-out for 48 hours from 8pm on Sunday night time till 8pm on Tuesday 2 May after rejecting the newest pay provide from the federal government.

But well being secretary Steve Barclay has written to RCN boss Pat Cullen, saying the union’s present six-month strike mandate runs out at midnight on 1 May.

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After talks to resolve the difficulty final week failed, Mr Barclay mentioned: “I therefore regretfully provided notice of my intent to pursue legal action with a view to protecting patients, NHS workers and RCN members whilst continuing to seek a way to resolve this through official channels.”

Ms Cullen mentioned the RCN had advised the federal government such motion was “wrong and indefensible”, however “the threat sadly became a reality”.

In an electronic mail to members, she added: “The solely method to take care of bullies is to face as much as them – together with in courtroom.

“It’s so wrong for the government to use taxpayers’ money to drag our profession through the courts.

“We’re decided to indicate that the nursing career is powerful and decided and defend our members’ proper to strike.”

In an announcement launched after the information broke, Mr Barclay mentioned he had been “left with no choice but to proceed with legal action”.

He added: “I firmly support the right to take industrial action within the law – but the government cannot stand by and let a plainly unlawful strike action go ahead nor ignore the request of NHS Employers.

“We should additionally defend nurses by guaranteeing they don’t seem to be requested to participate in an illegal strike.”

Ms Cullen confirmed members would not be asked to walk-out if the court ruled against them, saying: “If the federal government succeeds in silencing members such as you and convinces the courtroom to cease a part of our strike, then we’ll don’t have any alternative however to chop it quick.”

She added: “Our strike motion has at all times been protected and authorized. We would by no means ask our members to do something unsafe or in opposition to your skilled code.”

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