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'When will the value of specialist nurses be recognised by those who control NHS purse strings?'
Steve Ford, Editor
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Unison votes in favour of ballot over pay action
Anonymous 15.4.14 3.15pm
You are kidding, right?
Try reading Hunt's book - he hates the NHS. He is in the process of moving the NHS from a provider to a commissioner only of care. To make the NHS attractive to potential investors he is trying to reduce the cost base - the pension is billions in the black (which the Treasury keeps) yet we are now working longer, contributing more and you get a smaller pension. Salaries are the biggest cost to the NHS - so Hunt is now attacking them to reduce the cost base. This has already happened to social care, where most carers receive only the Minimum Wage. Consequently, the social care system is a mess which often fails to meet the needs of patients, and all the while taxpayer monies are shovelled into the pockets of private investors. Be clear that Hunt's agenda has nothing to do with good patient care.
We have had real terms pay cuts for four years, and unlike Hunt who on his six figure salary (which does not require a single qualification - nurses as I am sure you know require a degree, my job minimum Masters) and taxpayer subsidised bar/meals/accomodation etc, I and every other nurse is worth it.
The zeal which Hunt demonstrates in trying to drive down costs will not be stopped by trivial approaches such as protesting in your lunch break, trying to finish on time, or working to rule (whatever that means), the only language he understands is striking. Mind, he will have a whole strategy prepared to try to deal with striking to turn the public against us, but we need to do this - a well motivated and renumerated workforce is one that provides excellent care for patients. A nursing workforce that is working additional shifts to provide the basics for their family is a tired workforce with the obvious impact on patient care.
So stop being so blinkered, look at the bigger picture, and fight for a proper real terms pay rise - it 's good for patients as well as nurses. The polar opposite is true if we have another real terms pay cut.
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