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Nurse protester of 74 to march again on Saturday


A nurse who appeared on the cover of Nursing Times over 35 years ago protesting for better pay is set to march again this weekend – this time against the public sector cuts.

In May 1974 Julie Stevens worked in Hammersmith Hospital and joined the protest at Hyde Park over nurses’ pay and conditions.

Now a consultant nurse at Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare, Ms Stevens told Nursing Times her job is at risk due to cost savings. She was ready to march on Saturday, with 20 of her colleagues expected to join her, against the coalition government’s cuts to public services.

She said in the 70s there was not much sympathy for the nurses’ cause, as public servants they were expected to accept low pay. “We were spat at”, she said.

Now, she said, the public seem to be behind the public sector. “I think people are worried about their NHS, they want to protect it”, she said.

Thousands of nurses and other public sector workers are due to march through London on Saturday from Victoria Embankment to Hyde Park, as part of a protest billed as the largest Trades Union Congress event for decades.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • there seems little point in just going out and marching for more pay. the whole structure of nursing and the delivery of healthcare needs to be examined and changed to meet modern demands. just going on a march is a really antiquated and pathetic way from the era of the working classes and trade unionists in the industrial revolution!

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  • Hello! Is there anybody there? The march was not about 'more pay'! The Cuts that are hitting services across the nation affecting the NHS, education, the pensioners, young carers, the disabled, rape crisis centres, sexual health & walk in centres, the list is endless!!
    It was definitely not a rabble of the 'working class'. If the writer is a caring health care professional (& dares to look after the working classes!) surely the best interest of your patients should be at heart?
    I could bark on forever but wonder if the previous writer is just being provocative/or is real!

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  • I remember marching to save our local hospital when I was about 8 yr old. Marched all through the 80's against the evil of Thatcher.
    Surprise surprise a Tory govt arrives and people are marching again.
    The suffragettes were spat at and treated appallingly but turns out they were right! As was Copernicus and Gallileo.
    One commentator said today that when the people start objecting in such a public way it is a sign that democracy is failing them. Antiquated it might feel to the first commenter but needed it also is when your govt, elected in mandate or not, is refusing to listen. Push harder and the resistance increases by the same magnitude, until the boil is burst.
    To listen to the people is easier and less painful in the long run.

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