Today’s national strike over pay in the NHS has been the first for 32 years, but hundreds of thousands of workers in our health service have been pushed to the limit by six years of pay freezes and caps.
Nurses, midwives, paramedics, radiographers, consultants, managers, hospital porters and cleaners, administrative, catering and maintenance staff, and other health service workers are angry the government chose to ignore the advice of the independent pay review body, and as a result have been denied even the below-inflation pay rise they recommended.
The TUC’s Frances O’Grady went to support picket lines at St Pancras Hospital today, to show her support for protesting staff. She said:
“NHS staff are always reluctant strikers, and they will do everything they can to protect patients in their care. But morale has hit rock-bottom. Even the Royal College of Midwives, which has have never been on strike, is taking action today.
And NHS workers are not the only employees who do not understand why ministers are using the fruits of recovery to fund tax cuts for their rich supporters, while everyone else faces a continuing squeeze in their standard of living.
This is why tens of thousands of workers will be joining the Britain Needs a Pay Rise demonstration this Saturday.”