Rejecting a pay offer from the government, nurses in England on Friday announced they will go on a 48-hour strike from April 30 to May 2. “What has been offered to date is simply not enough. The government needs to increase what has already been offered and we will be highly critical of any move to reduce it,” said Pat Cullen, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing in a letter to the country’s health secretary, Steve Barclay. “Until there is a significantly improved offer, we are forced back to the picket line,” she warned. The government has expressed concern about the impact on patients. Members of the Unison public service union, on the other hand, have accepted the pay offer, which includes a 5% pay increase for 2023-24 and a lump sum payment. The RCN is asking for a pay rise of 19%, which is 5% higher than current retail price inflation. Sara Gorton from Unison said: “Clearly health workers would have wanted more, but this was the best that could be achieved through negotiation. “Over the past few weeks, health workers have weighed up what’s on offer. They’ve opted for the certainty of getting the extra cash in their pockets soon.” This new strike by the Royal College of Nursing will affect critical care services, which did not happen in previous strikes.