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Nurses in England to walk out as industrial disruption hits 30-year high

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Nurses in England will stage fresh walkouts on Wednesday marking an escalation of industrial action across the economy that has already caused more disruption than at any point in the past 30 years.

About 467,000 working days were lost to labour disputes in November last year alone — the most in any single month since the public sector pensions strikes of 2011, according to official figures released on Tuesday. Over the six months from June to November 2022, more than 1.6mn days were lost to labour disputes, the most in any one year since 1990.

Unions are now set to ramp up their campaigns for better pay as strikes spread from the rail and postal sectors to the NHS, state education and across government departments and other public bodies.

Tens of thousands of nurses at 55 NHS trusts — or about one-quarter of the total — in England will walk out on Wednesday and Thursday. The Royal College of Nursing has also set dates for two further strikes in early February if pay talks do not progress by the end of this month.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen described this week’s action as “a modest escalation before a sharp increase in under three weeks from now”, adding:…

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