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Nurses Protest Over Pay

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As reported in the Guardian, last Wednesday (Wednesday 6th September), roughly 2,000 Nursing staff are expected to launch a demonstration outside Parliament. 

 

Their aim is to persuade them to scrap the 1% pay cap.

 

The demonstration has been strategically timed to fall just after the prime minister’s first questions of her parliamentary year, with members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) taking a day of leave to join the protest.

 

The RCN has threatened industrial action if the pay cap is not scrapped in the Autumn Budget, after revealing the seven year cap has seen pay fall by 14% real-term.

 

Not only this, but Theresa May has been criticised after claiming nurses are using food banks for “complex reasons”.

 

Janet Davies, Chief Executive of the RCN has said:

 

“Experienced nursing staff are leaving in droves, not because they don't like the job, but because they can't afford to stay while the next generation do not see their future in an undervalued profession. If the government fails to announce a change of direction in the budget, then industrial action by nursing staff immediately goes on the table.”

 

This demonstration mirrors the views aired back in May, where over 50,000 members of the RCN voted, and 8 in 10 stating they would strike if the cap wasn't lifted.

 

The RCN also published data from YouGov that 7 in 10 voters believed the NHS was critically understaffed.

 

According to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), there are 40,000 nursing vacancies, with 51% more nurses and midwives leaving the profession than four years ago.

 

This leaves healthcare without safe staffing, and the current staff struggling under the pressure of hours, and the stress of the job.

 

Interestingly, YouGov also published that more than half of their voters were willing to pay increased taxes to help the nursing crisis.

 

Either way, something must be done to save the NHS and British healthcare as we know it.