Keep up with everything happening on picket lines across the country as nurses and midwives fight for fair pay
Midwives at UCLH:
Julyette Cushnie – midwife at UCLH, said: “We are professionals and should be awarded as professionals. We all went through university and did our courses – some of us have degrees and diplomas – and yes we are doing this job because we care but at the same time you can stop caring if you’re not being paid what you deserve.”
Anna White – midwife at UCLH, said: “We’re back here for a second time because we want to show the government we do actually mean this. We do a very good job and we deserve a 1% pay increase. From the first strike, you could have said it was flash in the pan but today we have had a similar turnout.”
“I know a lot of people across the country are the same but we have made our sacrifices. We’ve had pay freezes and accepted them and we’re not going to accept them anymore.”
“On a personal note, I’m a midwife and delivering other peoples’ babies but can’t afford to have my own.”
The Whittington Hospital, London
Motorists made clear their support of pickets outside The Whittington Hospital in North London.
Around 60 staff from a range of professions chanted as a stream of drivers on the busy Archway Road sounded their horns, waved and gave thumbs-up signs.
Behind the good-natured atmosphere, there was a real sense of injustice at the government’s refusal to accept the Pay Review Body’s recommendation for a 1% rise across the board.
“The hospital has opened a new ward to cope with winter pressures, while the A&E department is seeing increased numbers of patients due to the closure of other units in the area,” said Unison rep Claire Dixon. “At the same time experienced nurses are being driven out of the profession and people are developing stress-related illnesses due to the increased workload. Now it is going out to the Philippines to recruit nurses because it can’t recruit in the UK.
“We treat patients with dignity and respect, but the government won’t do the same for us and give us a living wage.”
Ms Dixon said many staff at the hospital were struggling to make ends meet and relying on credit unions and food banks, while increased workloads were leading to many experiencing stress-related illnesses.
- Ann Shuttleworth, Nursing Times
Jenni Middleton reports from the picket line on Oxford Road, Manchester, where around 300 people have turned out:
Strong turn out of around 40 people at University College Hospital, London:
“Our service is the kind of service that the government talk about being so important, but it can’t survive the way it is. People are leaving, going off stic, don’t wnt to stay in the job. So then the service suffers.
“There has been no shift from the Government since the last strike. Since then, the government has denigrated people for going on strike rather than discussing the issues.”
- Simon Spencer, mental health nurse in Early Intervention Service, Camden
“The 1.35 million NHS workforce has been forced, reluctantly, to take strike action on Monday as they have seen their incomes eroded by 15% since the Coalition came to power in May 2010.
“And we expect a strong turn-out buoyed up by very welcome continuing public support, following the four hour action last month.”
- Rachael Maskell, Unite head of health
“We have given them every opportunity to find a resolution. But Jeremy Hunt is still refusing to negotiate with the trade unions, leaving staff no option but to take this action. The NHS depends on the goodwill and commitment of the workforce and this is now at breaking point.
“Unions are committed to ensuring patient safety remains paramount by only having a four-hour stoppage.”
- Christina McAnea, chair of the NHS trade union and head of health at Unison
“This is not about our members demanding huge banker-sized bonuses, or asking for the similarly large bonuses and pay increases given to many senior managers in the NHS. It is about our members having to fight just to get the very modest 1% pay award recommended by the NHS Pay Review Body”
- Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the RCM
“We see the service being aroded, haven’t had a pay rise in so many years and many of us nurses that have been in the service for a long time are at the top of our pay increments, not to mention when we were restructured we were downgraded and took a 15% pay cut.
“So it’s important to stick up for the NHS and make people aware of what is going on.
“We keep hearing about the economy recoverng but we’re not seeing any of that recovery in terms of the NHS at all.”
- Tracy Holloway, CPN, South Camden rehaband recovery services
Dave Prentis, General Secretary of Unison, is interviewed on Sky News
“This is the 1st time in 32 years that our health workers have taken action over pay…Our people have no choice but to take action”
“70% of health workers will not get that 1% and yet in Scotland they’ve got that 1%”
“Health workers are there for us in crisis, at least they deserve a 1% pay rise after three years of nothing”
“This idea that health workers need to lose money in order to keep nurses is completely wrong”
Comments on Facebook:
Susan Nattrass - Just finished night shift, short staffed again. After scrapping ice off the car it warmed my heart to see the picket. At least they are trying!!!
Lyn Lawrenson - I’m not sure it will make a huge difference to government
— Becca Burgess-Dawson (@BurgessDawson) November 24, 2014
Full support to the amazing people on the #NHSstriketoday. Saddened that this is the only way they can get listened to.
— Rose Stanyon (@RoseStanyon) November 24, 2014
”I feel like we’ve changed from just being victims of government policy and are now being blamed for the lack of real recovery” - Nick Draper, Mental Health Support Worker at North Manchester General Hospital
”I have two colleagues who are behind with their mortgages now and one who’s moved back with her parents as they’re so short of money” - Nurse, North Manchester General Hospital
BBC Breakfast describes today’s industrial action as more “symbolic” than disruptive. Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite the cold start to the day, the #NHSStrike hashtag is heating up on social media sites as the countdown to the strike begins:
— Tobias Schelin (@tobiasschelin) November 24, 2014
— MohammedAmmar Arshad (@maarshad) November 24, 2014
Members from 11 health unions are to take part in a four-hour strike on Monday 24 November in protest of being denied a 1% pay rise, which was recommended by the independant pay review body.
Follow this feed for LIVE updates from the pickets lines.
Read what happened during the first strike in this dispute: NHS Strike: latest news form nurses on picket lines
View the timeline of the events that led to inductrial action: Industrial action timeline