THE Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members announced the dates they will strike for the first time ever. 

December 15 and 20 will be the first strikes for the RCN in its 106-year history. 

The government gave NHS staff an average of 4.75 per cent rise this year, with the lowest paid getting more. However, the RCN wants 5 per cent above the RPI rate of inflation, which stands at over 12 per cent. 

It argues that nurses have been getting a real terms wage cut. 

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members voted to strike over pay on Wednesday 9 November. Members working under University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, voted to take action. 

This will mean that Furness General, Westmorland General, and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, as well as other smaller practices across the region, will be affected by the strike which will take place at some point towards the end of the year. 

The RCN said that which services will be affected is to be announced, but it is unlikely to include emergency services. 

Councillor Iain Mooney, a nurse and the Labour lead member for health and well-being at Barrow Borough Council said: "It is not a nurses strike it is an NHS strike that includes everyone who plays an integral part of the NHS.

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"I think people are finally seeing enough is enough. We have members coming to us in need of help. We have nurses accessing food banks. We have 12 years of real terms pay cut. When you are trying to raise a family-quite a lot are single parents working all hours."

Simon Fell, the MP for Barrow and Furness said: "My understanding is that the health secretary has openly offered to get back around the table. I very much hope that this can be resolved before it impacts the NHS in any way." 

Steve Barclay, the health secretary, said in a Twitter thread: "Our priority is keeping patients safe. The NHS has tried and tested plans in place to minimise disruption and ensure emergency services continue to operate but inevitably strike action will have an impact on services. 

"My door remains open to the RCN if they want to discuss ways we can improve nurses’ working lives."