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Midwives and nurses to join union march for 'fair pay'


Nurses and midwives are preparing to march for “fair pay” at the weekend, as part of an event organised by the Trades Union Congress.

Saturday’s march through London follows Monday’s strike action by NHS members of unions, including Unison, Unite and the Royal College of Midwives.

“Enough is enough and now is the time to take a stand”

Cathy Warwick

Health workers in England will be protesting at the government’s decision not to award a 1% pay rise to all NHS staff, against the advice of the independent Pay Review Body.

But the march, dubbed Britain Needs a Pay Rise by the TUC, will involve unions from a variety of different professions as well as the public sector and NHS. It will culminate in a rally in Hyde Park.

The TUC said the event was intended to help call for an “economic recovery that works for all Britons, not just those right at the top”.

“Wages have fallen in real terms every year since 2010. We believe that as growth returns to the UK economy, everyone should get a fairer share in the recovery,” said the union umbrella body in a statement.

The RCM, which went on strike for the first time in its 133 year history on Monday, said midwife and maternity support workers would “be out in force” on Saturday.  

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the college, said she had been “overwhelmed by the huge response” from RCM members to industrial action.

Cathy Warwick

Cathy Warwick

“It shows the depth of feeling on this and the levels of anger and discontent among our members,” she said. “I really encourage those that can make it to join us on Saturday so that we can show the government just how strong their feelings are and how much support there is for fair pay.

“For too long our members and their fellow workers have suffered pay freezes with income rapidly falling behind the real cost of living,” she said. “Enough is enough and now is the time to take a stand.”

They will be joined in the capital by members of the Royal College of Nursing, which did not take part in the strike and four-day work to rule that followed.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN said: “This march sends a clear message to the government – nurses and other NHS workers are angry that they have been expected to plug the gaps in NHS funds, while trying to cope with the effects of understaffing.”

Estephanie Dunn, RCN regional director for the North West, said she looked forward to joining other unions and RCN members from across the country to “make our voices heard” over the government’s “unfair decision” not to award a blanket 1% pay rise.

“There has been significant and growing anger amongst out members at the four years of pay restraint imposed upon them, while they have kept the NHS going through years of understaffing and increasing demand,” she said.



Readers' comments (3)

  • The march shouldn't be over a pay rise which is seen by many as greed ...a comment I've heard from friends not in the NHS I may say... it should be as a stand against the continued cuts and ongoing and hidden privatisation of our NHS!

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  • Well Anonymous, I think it would be a LOT more accurate to say that it has been PRESENTED to many (by media and government) as greed whereas it is simply a plea for fairness and an attempt to get pay to fall behind inflation at a slower rate. I am sure that everyone there will share anxieties (or worse) about the NHS but this pay issue needs to be a focus right at this moment especially for the lowest paid staff working in whatever sector..

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  • I'd agree with the media representation which is/has no doubt been infuenced by a Tory friendly ownership, and I do agree re paying our lower paid colleagues more however I don't think full public support will be gained over a pay rise especially one of 1% which in reality will be of little benefit to most.
    I think a national strike from all heavily cut services both NHS and otherwise is needed and we really shouldn't forget our colleagues in the many health promotion / community service departments who have been forced out of their jobs through the new and innefficient questionable commissioning processes in the many community health sevices throughout the country many of which are at breaking point!

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