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Nurses set for London protest against cuts


Thousands of nurses and other public sector workers are due to march in London tomorrow in what is being billed as the largest union protest for more than 30 years.

The event will see protesters march from Victoria Embankment at around midday to Hyde Park, where a rally will be held against the coalition government’s programme of public sector cuts and reforms.

It is first time since 1988 that nurses nationally have marched together against Government cuts to jobs and services.

The event has been dubbed by organisers the Trades Union Congress as the March for the Alternative. A carnival atmosphere, with brass bands, and dragonfly stilt walkers has been promised.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of the union Unison, which is expected to have the largest contingent of marchers, said: “We do not accept the government’s mantra that cuts are the only way – this is a political choice and there is an alternative.

“Instead of making cuts that are stretching the gap between the rich and poor, the government should use taxation and measures against the banks, including a Robin Hood tax, to spread the burden of the crisis, fairly.

“Keeping up public spending on vital services would help us to recover from the recession, and help communities to pick up the pieces.”

Royal College of Nursing chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter said: “The fact that so many nurses are marching together for the first time since the days of Margaret Thatcher is testament to the depth of their anger about these cuts.

“Nurses are facing a two year pay freeze and widespread cuts to jobs and service. On the ground, nurses are stretched to breaking point and we know that slashing huge number of frontline jobs is jeopardising patient care.”

“Today’s march is a visible and tangible way for our members to register their serious concerns.”

TheRoyal College of Midwives general secretary Cathy Warwick said: “Planned and potential cuts to the NHS could be extremely damaging to maternity care, mothers and babies.

“We worry that cuts may be happening by stealth by actions such as freezing vacancies and reducing the use of bank and agency staff. These cuts will mean fewer midwives working in the NHS, putting greater pressure on existing staff and could put more pressure on a maternity service that is already buckling under the weight of the demands on it.”

Have you signed our petition to ensure nurses have a seat on consortia boards? Follow @Aseatontheboard on twitter follow for all the latest campaign news!


Readers' comments (53)

  • We really need to see the general public supporting us. They need to realise these services belong to them and this Government seems hell bent on destroying them!

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  • well I hope now the demonstrations have taken place you are satisfied!

    you should all be utterly ashamed of this working class behaviour from what proclaims to be a professional class occupation and causing any respect from the public or government to go totally down the drain.

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  • just proves how easily influenced and led nurses are by others. show some genuine initiative if you really care about patients.

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  • Anon 5:28pm and 5:32pm, are your real names D. Cameron and n.clegg?

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  • I'm very proud of everybody who marched for the public services on saturday. Good job!

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  • what are the outcomes? service is needed not marches

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  • hopefully you paid your own expenses for policing, etc. and cleared up after yourselves instead leaving it to others and expecting the tax payers to pay.

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  • Anonymous | 26-Mar-2011 5:28 pm

    'working class' GPs are contemplating some sort of action too. Read their blogs, they are united, not like the nursing profession. Perhaps if we were, and I'm not referring to just this protest but in everyday life, we would get more respect, or never have lost it in the first place.

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  • Anonymous | 28-Mar-2011 7:56 pm:
    It is enough to register your objection.
    Anonymous | 28-Mar-2011 8:09 pm:
    Hopefully it created jobs for people which otherwise would have been made redundant due to the cuts!

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  • Anonymous | 28-Mar-2011 7:56 pm:
    It is enough to register your objection.

    Little point in registering an objection if there is no outcome.

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