AIBU to ask if you would support a strike by midwifery/nursing staff?

(367 Posts)
HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 11:20:21

Just that really, would you support a strike by frontline NHS midwifery/nursing staff? Following the 1% 'pay rise' news (which is actually a pay cut in real terms and only for those who are experienced staff at the top of their band) more and more of my colleagues have been saying that if it came to it they would strike, many have been reluctant up until this point as no one wants to disrupt women/patient care but the workforce is becoming burnt out, disillusioned and unsafe.

Just wondering what the mumsnet collective has to say?

jacks365 Sat 15-Mar-14 12:20:18

While I do feel sympathy for your plight I couldn't support any strike that affects vulnerable people and that is what a nursing and midwifery strike would do.

Until the general public are prepared to vote for a political party who state they will raise taxes to put into essential services things in the nhs teaching etc will not improve.

HuskyWoman Sat 15-Mar-14 12:22:09

I would support you all 100%.

Imnotmadeofeyes Sat 15-Mar-14 12:25:28

Just to add (promise I won't go on again!), but sodding figures. Figures and the complete lily liveried approach to them?

Don't like what you see nhs? Fudging them or going at them hammer and tongs to drive them in which ever way you want them to go by whatever means possible isn't the best way to use them to 'improve' - it's like no one has ever heard of cause and effect for Christ's Sake

soverylucky Sat 15-Mar-14 12:30:42

I would 100% support a strike but I am utterly depressed that yet again the old " I get crap pay so you should too" argument is trotted out. Fair wages for all I say.

uselessidiot Sat 15-Mar-14 12:31:19

No I wouldn't and if the RCN balloted to change the view on strikes I would vote against it.

The only people who would be harmed by strike action would be the patients and the Government still wouldn't give a jot.

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Sat 15-Mar-14 12:32:34

Re admin staff.

I agree. I used to be a HCA on a acute ward for elderly patients. That job was hard work but I loved it. I then became the ward clerk as well as a HCA. I was damn good at that job. I had a good insight into what a ward should run like and what the priorities were with regards to patient care and safety.
I was a key player in transforming care, and what was expected of us from the health inspections and audits etc. It took a lot of hard work, I worked very closely with senior management as well as nursing staff, so much so, our ward became a centre of care and excellence.

I was a band 2. The same as a caterer. The caterers duties are dishing up food, filling water jugs and pouring tea and coffee.

I became so disillusioned I started applying for other jobs. I noticed the admin based jobs were de-banded.

I didn't want to go back to being a HCA as quite frankly, you're are seen as unskilled and think as shit. By many people. I did it long enough so I know its a fact.

Because of what I achieved on my ward with the transforming care, I was head hunted to help turn around a failing ward in another speciality. There is a LOT of work to be done but a few weeks on, I've already made a massive improvement. I know I'm worth my weight in gold.

I'm still a band 2. The pay structure is hugely unfair.
I haven't had a payrise for about 6 years as I'm on top increment already. There is no performance enhancement.

I know some staff who DON'T deserve an automatic payrise.

There definitely needs to be a fairer system in place.

I don't know what though.

Crinkle77 Sat 15-Mar-14 12:36:46

Sorry but I think patients have to come first.

MeMySonAndI Sat 15-Mar-14 12:42:53

Frankly it is quite dangerous to demoralise health staff with such offensive 'increase'.

It is we'll know that happy staff is more productive and reliable, surely there is more damage to be had by a demotivated force that works feeling undervalued and that is struggling not only to deal with the stress, demands, and difficult working hours of the profession, but with financial difficulties caused by low salaries.

Yes, they shouldn't go to the point of a strike, but then their demands should be heard to avoid that? I still can't see why it is fair to pay such high salaries to GPs, consultants, high level managerial staff, and even recently graduated doctors when the staff who is working so much at the front line is asked to go by with a bad salary.

Cuxibamba Sat 15-Mar-14 12:45:34

It would affect patients negatively. I wouldn't be able to have that on my conscience at all.

Imnotmadeofeyes Sat 15-Mar-14 12:47:41

hotdog I've been in a similar position to you and quite frankly just had to leave.

I'm a bit of a job tart and have worked in all three sectors in various roles, and the final straw for me was a couple of years ago when trusts decided they need to operate like businesses and been told by a service manager that in the business world they expected 40 hours even if you were been paid for 30. Well yes in certain industries that's very true, but they tend to also allow negotiations of individual packages based on performance which is a bit redundant in the nhs.

Never mind the fact I was already doing that at tea of understaffing or a peak in service need. Or proactively implementing new procedures or solving issues that were apparently in the category of 'that's not in my job description' for certain other members of the team.

I honestly saw an admin colleague watch a huge increase in referrals come through (simple maths said we didn't have the clinical capacity to deal with them within the rtt pathway), refuse to deal with them as it was over her capacity and offered no assistance in changing our procedures - to choose and book incidentally - because she was 'just a band 2'.

I presume there's a back story there, but I've never worked I a team like that before.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 12:47:59

Unfortunately many patients have a negative experience anyway due to understaffing and over stretched demoralised staff.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 15-Mar-14 12:51:27

MPs are public sector workers. They are getting 11%...

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 12:52:52

'Sorry but patients come first'

Yeah they do, but I think people expect us to be martyrs. If it carries on there will be no patients because there won't be nurses there to look after them. People are leaving in droves.

And people with the opinion of 'we don't get a pay rise why should you', well why don't you make your own thread, propose your own strike and get off our backs about wanting fair pay for working in terrible conditions. I've fainted on occasion because I hadn't had a break or a drink or food. I've nearly wet myself because I couldn't go to the toilet. It's not just a difficult and stressful job it's bloody indignified.

WishUponAStar88 Sat 15-Mar-14 12:53:43

I'm a nurse and would not strike. I work with acutely I'll patients who would, with very few exceptions, all die if they did not have very close nursing and medical care for a day.

The financial situation is terrible I completely agree, however cuts do need to be made to save the NHS and all public sector workers are in a similar situation. Many in private workplaces have had pay freezes for years.

NinetyNinePercentTroll Sat 15-Mar-14 12:55:12

I would but then I am also an nhs worker and very pissed off with this news. "All in this together" my arse.

MP's got their 11% without any issue and yet front line hcp's won't even get 1% because it will mean more cuts to fund it? Hmmm.

Incidentally, I had no problem with the mp increase until this was done and the excuse of it will mean more cuts was made. WTF? I appreciate that 1% is a large figure when you consider how many people would (should) be in receipt of it and the nhs budgets are straining at the seams and savings must be made somewhere, but come on. To raise one area of public sector pay by such a dramatic amount and refuse another due to constraints of the public purse is an insult. Especially when the hikes went to politicians and the losses were doled out to the voters. Fuck off.

Strike. I would support you every step of the way.

Meerkatwhiskers Sat 15-Mar-14 12:57:07

I'm a student nurse about to qualify (in sept). I don't think I agree with striking. I think a work to rule would be more eye opening for the government. Although in my trust we have excellent staffing levels and mostly go home on time (I always go when my mentor goes).

I do agree pay needs to be addressed. But for me it's going to be a pay rise as I've been living off a diploma bursary for the last 2.5 years. So starting salary is a bonus. And I have the luxury of being able to apply to trusts that pay London salaries. My training trust has the HCA also. Can't really complain I guess.

NinetyNinePercentTroll Sat 15-Mar-14 13:00:04

Absolutely nursey, just because you do this job does not mean you should have to lie down and be fucked over continually whilst they hold the holy grail of "patient care" over your head. If they gave that much of a shit they wouldn't be ripping the nhs to shreds and selling it off piecemeal, privatisation by stealth.

noblegiraffe Sat 15-Mar-14 13:06:50

I'm a teacher, and support other public sector workers who are being shafted by this rich old-boys-network who are currently in power.

A strike should be last resort when other avenues have failed, IMO. I don't know what action nurses are currently taking - is work to rule happening as it is in teaching?

If I were pregnant I'd be very scared at the prospect of a midwife strike, so any strike should try to minimise impact on patients. Rolling strikes rather than national, strikes of a couple of hours rather than a full day. Action that shows that you care about the patients but have had enough of the government would be more likely to get support I think.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 15-Mar-14 13:08:17

To be fair striking is probably paying into the governments hands. They want NHS nurses to be so fucked off and demoralised that they go and work for an agency instead. Once all/most nurses are agency nurses, wahey! We have privatisation.
...

KateBeckett Sat 15-Mar-14 13:08:26

I would support them completely.

orangeunderground Sat 15-Mar-14 13:10:56

Another one voicing support here

Imnotmadeofeyes Sat 15-Mar-14 13:12:00

"Fair pay for terrible working conditions"

But Nursey, surely those should be two separate issues? £100k a year wouldn't make fainting on shift any more acceptable would it?

KissesBreakingWave Sat 15-Mar-14 13:12:43

When it comes to strikes, there are two choices: solidarity or scab. Never been a scab. So: do what you must.

MrsMcEnroe Sat 15-Mar-14 13:13:50

I have every sympathy for everyone who is currently struggling to survive financially at this very difficult time, including private sector and public sector workers who are not receiving pay rises.

This includes my DH and me by the way.

HOWEVER - I would not support a strike by nurses and midwives, or any other medical staff, as I believe that this would lead directly to patients dying due to lack of adequate care. The NHS is woefully understaffed as it is (I cannot bear, at the moment, to rehash fully the story of my mother's last few appalling months whilst in the "care" of the appallingly overstretched NHS) and, as healthcare professionals, you would be failing everyone in the country if you refused to carry out the job you're paid to do.

You are caught between a rock and a hard place, and that is shit, but people's lives are literally in your hands! So I'm sorry but no, I wouldnt support a strike.

MrsMcEnroe Sat 15-Mar-14 13:14:44

Yes I agree with the poster who mentions privatisation - that's the way the government is nudging this, isn't it?

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