The union head who organised the nursing strike stated that the health secretary was unwilling to talk about pay, and as a result, negotiations to prevent the strike on Thursday failed.
On Monday night, the Royal College of Nursing’s general secretary, Pat Cullen, said: “I needed to come out of this meeting with something serious to show nurses why they should not strike this week. Regrettably, they are not getting an extra penny.”
Earlier, No 10 had indicated Steve Barclay, the health secretary would not be open to negotiating a new wage offer for nurses, but it was believed that other parts of the nurses’ job would be available for discussion.
However, the union had made it clear that if the government wanted to prevent the walkout on Thursday, wages would have to be on the table.
According to Ms. Cullen, the government “was true to its word – they would not talk to me about pay” despite her having “hopes” going into the meeting.
She stated that Mr. Barclay “showed total belligerence, this afternoon he closed his books and walked away.”