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Nurses pause major NHS strikes as union enters ‘intensive’ talks with No10 | UK | News

Nurses have agreed to pause their historic strike action as “intensive talks” with the government begin.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Government issued a joint statement saying that the talks would focus on “pay, terms and conditions, and productivity enhancing reforms,” after the union began major strikes in a bitter ongoing dispute.

The statement went on to promise that talks would recognise the “vital role that nurses and nursing play in the National Health Service”, as well as “the wider economic pressures facing the United Kingdom and the Prime Minister’s priority to halve inflation.”

The next industrial action pencilled in for nurses was on March 1, when they had planned to strike continuously for 48 hours.

The Royal College of Nursing has agreed to pause strike action while talks are active.

The talks come after months of walkouts and repeated calls from nursing union leaders for ministers to open discussions over NHS staff salaries.

The suspended strike next month would see 100 trusts take part across the country as well as all departments, including critical care units, being allowed to strike.

This strike would include, for the first time, A&E, intensive care units and cancer care staff walking out.

The decision to enter talks represents a climbdown for Rishi Sunak, who has repeatedly insisted nurses’ pleas for more pay were “unaffordable” and that he did not have a “magic wand” to up wages.

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