NHS strikes could soon be declared over as government makes new offer
UK news agencies report on a potential agreement between the UK government and the healthcare trade union.
UK's i newspaper reported, on Thursday, the UK government has reached a pay raise deal with the healthcare trade union hoping to end months-long strikes.
The daily, with more details, wrote that the Unions of the National Health Service (NHS) and representatives of the UK government have reached a "tentative" agreement and noted that the new agreement exceeds the former one in which the government suggested a 3.5% pay raise. Rather the new agreement involved a revised pay offer for the 2023-2024 financial year reaching beyond the 3.5% previously negotiated.
According to the report, strikes might be finally declared over after hundreds of thousands of members of key NHS unions including the Royal College of Nursing, Unite, and Unison accept the government offer. According to the newspaper, the agreement represents a "breakthrough" following months of widespread strikes around the UK and a "victory" for the unions in their fight for a salary hike.
UK Finance Minister unveils £94 bn package for cost-of-living crisis
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt announced on Wednesday that its support package to combat the cost-of-living crisis this year and the next is worth $114 billion.
"In the face of a cost-of-living crisis... we have demonstrated our values by protecting struggling families," Hunt said in his speech before the Parliament, noting that there will be additional support allocated for energy bills and childcare.
This comes in light of mass walkouts staged by doctors, nurses, teachers, civil servants, BBC journalists, and drivers on London's underground Tube railway.
The cost-of-living crisis has made it unbearable for some workers, both from the public and private sectors, to attend to some of their basic daily needs, such as affording one of three essential meals every day.
"High inflation is the root cause of the strikes we have seen in recent months," Hunt stressed. "We will continue to work hard to settle those disputes but only in a way that does not fuel inflation."
He pointed out that inflation in the UK remains to linger above the 10% mark, yet it should be cooling down to 2.9% by the end of the year.
He further raised lawmakers' attention to the fact that the UK has narrowly avoided two successive quarters of contraction last year and that the British economy will avoid a technical recession in 2023.
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