Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) went on strike throughout both the 6th and 7th February protesting for fair pay. The RCN claimed ‘the NHS is in crisis and nursing staff have been forced to the picket line to protect our profession and our patients’.
Nurses of the Sheffield Teaching Hospital united to form these picket lines outside both the Barnsley Road and Herries Road entrances of the Northern General Hospital, outside the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, and outside both the main entrance and Western Bank of Sheffield Children’s Hospital from 7am until 6pm.
The Royal College of Nursing stated ‘striking is a last resort. But it can be a powerful tool for change. Unfairly low pay in our profession is driving chronic understaffing. It puts patients at risk and leaves nursing staff overworked, underpaid and undervalued.’
The RCN claimed ‘the government’s negligence towards addressing vacancies is at the heart of the crisis in the NHS. And to start addressing vacancies, they need to pay staff fairly. Yet, the Prime Minister continues to bury his head in the sand.’
Nursing associate Alice Harrand said, ‘all the staff are burnt out from working overtime’ and that ‘we are tired of the government thinking they can continue to step on us’.
Since nurses forfeit a day’s wage each time they take strike action, the RCN claim ‘we are all paying the price for government’s failure to pay nursing staff fairly’. Strikers with impacted wages are encouraged to claim their £50 payment from the RCN Strike Benefit scheme for every day of strike action they partake in.
Whilst strike action is likely to continue, to show your support for the strikers, the RCN encourages people to donate to their strike fund via their website at www.rcn.org.uk, alongside showing unity by printing and displaying their posters or downloading their banners.