07:01 GMT +318 October 2019
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    An NHS sign is pictured at St Thomas' Hospital in front of the Big Ben clock face and the Elizabeth Tower on January 13, 2017 in London.

    NHS Staff Voting for Highest Pay Increase in 10 Years

    © AFP 2019 / Isabel Infantes
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    Funding for the country’s much-loved healthcare system is consistently among the most pressing political issues in the United Kingdom.

    England's Royal College of Nursing today opened voting to the country's 200,000 nurses in an online poll asking whether a pay deal arrived at by unions, the Government and the National Health Service (NHS) should be accepted by medical care-givers.

    The poll will remain open until June 5, with the result to decide whether the pay-deal is adopted.

    Union leaders have acknowledged that the deal, which would raise staff pay by anywhere between 6.5 and 29 percent per year, was still not sufficient to win the support of all NHS workers.

    ​"We know the deal isn't perfect, but it's realistic in the current economic climate. It's the highest public sector pay deal in 10 years from a Government still committed to austerity. It commits significant cash to overlooked NHS staff without making any unpalatable demands in return," said Chairman of the RNC Trade Union Committee Lors Allford in a statement coinciding with the poll's opening.

    Levels of Government funding for the NHS has become an increasing source of protest against the Conservative government of Theresa May, and one of the main campaigning platforms for the Labour Party seeking to unseat the government in London's upcoming council elections on May 3 and the next general election.

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    Tags:
    public services, unionism, Poll, funding, British Labour Party, National Health Service (NHS), Conservative Party, United Kingdom
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