Nadhim Zahawi tells nurses to accept lower pay rise to send 'message' to Vladimir Putin




  • In World
  • 2022-12-04 14:28:56Z
  • By The Telegraph
Nadhim Zahawi on Sky News
Nadhim Zahawi on Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday, when he said he wanted to send a 'very clear message' to Vladimir Putin  

Nadhim Zahawi has urged nurses to accept a lower pay rise to send a "very clear message" to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.

Up to 100,000 nurses plan to walk out on Dec 15 and 20 as the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) demands an above-inflation pay rise of 19 per cent for its workers.

Mr Zahawi, the Conservative Party chairman, confirmed that the Government has contingency plans in place to minimise disruption across the public sector.

But he told unions it was time to "try and negotiate" and insisted soaring costs facing Britons this winter were predominantly because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"We have to come together, this is not a time to be divided," he told Sky's Sophie Ridge.

"I hope to send a very clear message to Mr Putin that he cannot use energy as a weapon in this way.

"And we will remain united which is why we've accepted the pay review bodies on the NHS, on schools and on others."

Mr Zahawi insisted that one million nurses would still receive a pay rise of at least £1,400, on top of a one per cent increase last year.

This is in line with the recommendations of the NHS Pay Review Body, which suggested an average rise of 4.75 per cent for nurses in England and Wales, with extra for the lowest paid.

Pressed by Times Radio on whether nurses would find his comments "offensive", Mr Zahawi replied: "Well, all I would say is let's all reflect and think about what Putin is doing. There is a price to pay for peace.

"And he's deliberately using energy as a weapon, which has made inflation so high.

"Putin wants us to be divided on this issue. If we chase inflation-busting or inflation-targeting public sector pay, then we will embed inflation for much longer and hurt the most vulnerable."

On Sunday Wes Streeting, Labour's shadow health secretary, accused ministers of "spoiling for a fight with nurses" Christine Jardine, the Liberal Democrat Cabinet Office spokesman, claimed it was "ludicrous and insulting to suggest Vladimir Putin is responsible for nurses going on strike".

On Saturday night, The Telegraph revealed pharmacists would be drafted in to help break strike action and ease winter pressures on the NHS under plans currently being considered.

Mr Zahawi emphasised the NHS would "look at all contingency planning" to ensure patients could get urgent treatment during walkouts and noted the Government's duty to ensure safe treatment levels in the health service.

Ministers are braced for the cancellation of thousands of elective procedures and screening appointments, meaning chemists could be allowed to diagnose minor conditions and prescribe antibiotics for the first time.

Steve Barclay, the Health Secretary, wrote to striking unions on Saturday night urging them to protect accident and emergency services by maintaining minimum staffing levels.

Strikes are likely to proceed and continue into the new year if the 19 per cent pay rise demand is not met, despite some progress on issues including employee parking costs and emergency unit security.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Putin commemorates Stalingrad battle, echoing Ukraine fight
Putin commemorates Stalingrad battle, echoing Ukraine fight
  • US
  • 2023-02-02 14:26:41Z

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday attended commemorations of the 80th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi forces in the battle of...

Even North Korea Just Noticed Russia
Even North Korea Just Noticed Russia's War in Ukraine 'Isn't Going So Well'
  • World
  • 2023-02-02 12:44:07Z

ReutersLess than a week after North Korea promised to "always stand in the same trench" with Russia, it seems even Pyongyang is losing faith in Vladimir...

Putin considers attacks from two or three fronts and can go for Kyiv again  Polish PM
Putin considers attacks from two or three fronts and can go for Kyiv again Polish PM
  • World
  • 2023-02-02 09:32:09Z

Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Poland, is concerned that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to prove to his people that he is a long-run player...

Media find out what Putin will lie about in his address
Media find out what Putin will lie about in his address
  • World
  • 2023-02-02 07:37:39Z

Vladimir Putin, President of the aggressor country, is preparing his address speech to the Federal Assembly closer to the anniversary of the start of the...

Sunak marks 100 days as UK prime minister as problems mount
Sunak marks 100 days as UK prime minister as problems mount
  • US
  • 2023-02-02 07:23:42Z

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has angry unions to the left of him, anxious Conservative Party lawmakers to the right and, in the middle, millions of voters...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World