24 November

Here at Primary Care Professionals we are very supportive of our nurses, and appreciate the work they perform every day, helping to save lives. We were very disheartened in the office that the 1% pay rise had been declined. We came to think about the situation, and how it is when the pay rise was suggested but denied by union.

There has indeed been a pay rise, but only for around half of the NHS staff. Due to this, NHS workers, such as, Nurses, Midwives and ambulance staff, took to striking for four hours this morning. They have ensure that the strike will not impact urgent care. However, the main response the workers have had is that the pay rise cannot be afforded without risking 10,000 front line jobs.

Nine unions have joined in support for the pay rise.

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said:

“This is not about our members demanding huge banker-sized bonuses, or asking for the similarly large bonuses and pay increases given to many senior managers in the NHS. It is about our members having to fight just to get the very modest 1% pay award recommended by the NHS pay review body. It is also an award which still lags way behind the rising cost of living and will see our members earning the same in 2016 as they did in 2013.”[1]

Although staff are not alone in their desire for well-deserved change, will this make a difference?

It does beg the question; is striking the best way to achieve a difference?

The BBC noted that Ministers in England have awarded a 1% increase but only for those without automatic progression-in-the-job rises.

Automatic pay rises are given to about half of all staff. They are designed to reward professional development and are worth 3% a year on average.

It was implemented in full in Scotland. Northern Ireland has yet to make a decision on pay. Trade unions in Wales accepted a two-year pay deal set out by the government this month.

What we really what to know in regards to this disagreement is how the NHS staff feel?

1% for their hard work seems reasonable, and how can a system that created many of its finance issues to itself, allow those who save lives to suffer.

Please, let us know if you have been affected by this, or if you have any comments to make. We want to hear your voice.

[1] BBC News, (2014). NHS staff stage four-hour strike. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30146279 [Accessed 24 Nov. 2014]

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