Nurses have gone back to the picket lines, striking for better pay and conditions in the NHS in a 28-hour strike that ends at midnight on May Day (May 1).
Today we're back out on the picket lines fighting not only for ourselves but for the future of the NHS
If you'll be supporting us and other NHS workers on the picket lines today please reply with a 💙#FairPayForNursing
— NHS Nurses (@SocialistNHS) May 1, 2023
Nurses standing strong for Fair Pay in Southampton!
— Harry Eccles (@Heccles94) May 1, 2023
It was supposed to be a full two-day strike, ending at 8pm on May 2, but Health Secretary Steve Barclay had the part of it taking place on May 2 halted via the courts.
He said that, since nurses were balloted for strike action on November 2 last year and such mandates last for six months, no strike action could take place on May 2. But that would imply that the ballot, its count, and the announcement of the result all took place on the first second of November 2 – which is of course impossible. So This Writer’s opinion is that the High Court has sided with the wrong side (again).
And look how some of our (hem-hem) friends in the media have responded:
Do striking nurses still have your support?
Nurses have walked out of wards in the largest industrial action so far.
It's after they rejected the government's pay offer.
Nurses from intensive care units & some A&E departments are also walking out.
Do they have your support? pic.twitter.com/maPykm317X
— Jeremy Vine On 5 (@JeremyVineOn5) April 30, 2023
Notice the references to “walking out of wards”, to nurses from intensive care and A&E have joined the strike, having “rejected” a government pay offer (without mentioning that it’s a huge pay cut), and the repeated question, having passed these comments: “Do they have your support?”
To which the answer can only be:
Yes, they bloody well do!
Nurses have taken a de facto 20 per cent pay cut since the Tories took power, meaning they work one day a week for free. This has put many off staying in the NHS, meaning those who remain have to do more work than they should, to make up the shortfall.
This has caused morale to plummet and has created mental and physical health problems for nurses.
This in turn has worsened the problem of nurses leaving.
And this has worsened the quality of the care provided by the NHS.
Nurses are striking because they want to halt the destruction of the UK’s greatest institution that is being deliberately caused by the Conservative government, personified by Health Secretary Steve Barclay.
He, by the way, appears to have been telling falsehoods – firstly by saying strike action by members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is “disrespectful”…
Health Secretary slams nurses branding strike action ‘disrespectful’. Steve Barclay believes the Royal College of Nursing is in the wrong for taking strike action.
Read more ➡️ https://t.co/ejcyHPSWca pic.twitter.com/iY9K69EUoj
— NursingNotes (@NursingNotesUK) May 1, 2023
Speaking to broadcasters yesterday, Mr Barclay said, “I think this strike is premature and is disrespectful to those trade unions that will be meeting on Tuesday.”
… and secondly by saying he has been talking with the RCN over the weekend:
Jon Kay – Steve Barclay(Health Secretary) says he has been engaging with the RCN over the weekend?
— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) May 1, 2023
So, once again, nurses are fighting for our health service while their despotic paymasters take to the media to falsely claim that they are harming it, and to lie that they are trying to resolve the situation when they are not.
Remember: these Tories were all-too-keen to stand on their doorsteps and applaud nurses who worked – and in some cases died – during the Covid-19 crisis. Perhaps they did so because it didn’t cost any money. Now they are treating the same people like traitors.
Who are you going to side with – the hard-working nurses who want the NHS to be the best health service possible, or the lying Tories who are actively trying to ruin it?
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