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?

GertTheFlirt Sat 15-Mar-14 11:23:57

I never understand why one profession feels slighted. All public sector workers are in the same boat. 1% was the norm. I haven't had a pay rise for 7 years. I knew what I was signing up to when I took the job.

Branleuse Sat 15-Mar-14 11:23:59

yes, of course i would.

what else can they do? what other power do they have except their labour??

If we need nurses so much that we couldnt cope with them striking, then why are they getting what is in effect another pay cut.

pay them properly

jellyandcake Sat 15-Mar-14 11:24:39

I support the right to strike and I am horrified by what this govt is doing to NHS staff. The idea of a midwife strike is very frightening - what would happen to women giving birth? I would hold the govt responsible and not blame midwives for doing this but on a personal level, I would be very afraid if it happened - this is because I value midwives so much and wish they were decently treated and rewarded for what they do.

mercibucket Sat 15-Mar-14 11:26:12

they should strike over ward safety. the cuts have affected mw numbers on wards.
i support any strike over pay n conditions but dont think about public support think about pressure on employers

JollyMarie79 Sat 15-Mar-14 11:26:44

As a nurse myself I wouldn't strike. The service is already stretched and I don't believe it would get us anywhere to be honest. I think it would hinder patient care to strike and all that would happen is the trusts would have to contract agency staff which would cost a fortune.
I think at the moment I'm just grateful to have a job with a decent salary and believe the days of annual pay rises for public sector staff are no longer. Crap but reality.
Nursing was never a job I went into for the money and compared to some jobs I feel it's actually well paid with good benefits.
I think we do need to make a stand though, how I'm not sure but I don't believe striking is the answer.... So as a short answer, no I don't support a strike. thanks

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 15-Mar-14 11:27:45

I think we have a no strike clause with the RCN.

I would, but my sister is a nurse so I know how difficult the job is on a more personal level, if that makes sense. She has been the main breadwinner for her family for several years and done all sorts of unsocial hours and unpleasant work to bring in extra money rather than going into the private sector or changing career. Nurses are amazing.

I'm not sure how most people would feel, but the public have been very supportive of fire service strikes which is a positive sign.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Sat 15-Mar-14 11:32:12

I would, but then I was a Nurse until recently. The wage did not reflect how hard we were having to work - often we were still there 2-3 hours after our shifts had finished as the ward was over crowded and all patients deserve clean sheets and a full wash (which had to be done around the theatre runs, IVs, Epidural, Morphine, Observations, Med rounds, and all other medical interventions). Then there was the duplicate paper work (i.e - Obs to be written on 3 different forms, 2/3 care plans per patient) which all takes time.
We got to a point where we were working 13 - 16 hours with no break, not even to have a wee. We deserved to be able to have a drink and something to eat, and to go to the toilet!
So yes I would support a strike which gave nurses what they are worth, and protected breaks.
A few years ago at a hospital in Paris all the nurses went on strike. It lasted less than an hour before the hospital agreed to their requests and got them back to work. They realised that a hospital can not run without nurses.

BaileyWhite Sat 15-Mar-14 11:32:24

Absolute support.

Please do strike. The Mh services have been utterly destroyed. What else can we do?

Onesleeptillwembley Sat 15-Mar-14 11:38:29

Can I ask - burnt out and unsafe is nothing to do with the pay award. Why is that relevant?

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 11:42:38

Thanks this is all really interesting. I don't want to strike but I'm at a loss as to how else to get the government to stand up and listen. Obviously labouring women etc would not be on their own, there would be a skeleton staff there, maybe ELCS and IOL would be cancelled that day and maybe other elective surgeries and clinics would not go ahead but still the basics would be covered.

To whoever asked why complain, 1% is normal! well yes it may be but actually the majority of staff are not entitled to that 1% pay rise as they still have increments to be awarded. Except if you read the government propaganda you'd assume that those increments were awarded just for turning up (ie time served) they aren't, there is a lot of work (paper) that goes into being ready for an appraisal as well as the competences etc you have to meet in order to be awarded your increment, even then once it is applied it's only worth approx 40 pounds per more in your pocket once you factor in tax, NI, student loan and exorbitant pension contributions (which are going up again). I know that there are a lot of people who look at us and think we have it good but why should it be a race to the bottom?

Lj8893 Sat 15-Mar-14 11:45:57

I would support a strike as I know how hard they work, and a pay cut is disgraceful. However, a nurse/midwife strike would be a very scary thing indeed so I would really hope it worked quickly!

caroldecker Sat 15-Mar-14 11:46:19

Whilst there anr enough people applying for the jobs and staying in them, why should they be paid more? A job is 'worth' what is enough to get the right number of the right applicants.
In France, I think, hospitals employ their own staff and agree own terms and conditions. In the UK, the hospitals have no power over pay and conditions.
Nurses should be demanding an end to national wage bargaining and allow hospitals to decide directly.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 11:48:08

To answer a question I think burnout is well linked to pay, if you aren't paid what you feel you are worth, you feel under valued, you feel stressed, you feel 'I don't get paid enough for this' when you're undertaking yet another task that used to belong to a junior doctor or you're being sanctioned for making a drug error on a ward where you were the only qualified member of staff with up to 20 patients and no assistance from management. Job satisfaction and pay is clearly linked I'd say and if all your staff are burnt out and have lost that caring part of them I'd say it leads to unsafety. Plus unattractive pay leads to poor retention, people just leave, less staff means the wards are unsafe.

NCISaddict Sat 15-Mar-14 11:49:08

We have the same in the ambulance service, not sure I will strike. I know that if we all go on strike then people will die as a result and I'm not sure I could have that on my conscience. I guess that's what the bosses are banking on.
I do feel a bit miffed that tube drivers earn more than paramedics but money is not what I came into the job for. I do think we are classed as ambulance drivers in the eyes of the public still though.

Imnotmadeofeyes Sat 15-Mar-14 11:49:26

I agree with onesleep that morale and culture are the problem, along with staffing levels.

I think striking over pay when actually that's not the most pressing issue imho distracts from the real problem.

Pay for existing front line staff could be doubled and the problems making it a shit environment for staff and patients will still exist. I already know nurses who couldn't physically do more, going way over above and beyond to try to achieve the ridiculous tasks their incompetent managers require whilst shielding their patients as much as they can to provide a decent standard of care.

Don't get me wrong, 1% is an insult but it's not the problem or the solution.

whois Sat 15-Mar-14 11:49:56

I absolutely do not support a strike. Strikes hurt service users, not the government and are a sure way to turn public opinion against you.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 11:50:13

caroldecker'would you want to be treated at the hospital that paid the least so attracted the least motivated, most disillusioned staff. I don't think I would. That's how bad hospitals get worse although in principle I can see where the idea is coming from.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 11:52:04

I'mnot I agree with a lot of what you say. What can be done?

Misspixietrix Sat 15-Mar-14 11:57:08

Yes I would OP. NHS staff totally insulted chewed up and spat out by Jeremy Cunt this week.

ThePinkOcelot Sat 15-Mar-14 11:57:11

I think Yabu. Whenever the NHS is mentioned with regards to pay etc it's always nurses who get the pity for the such hard work they do for little reward. Nurses are not the only people in the NHS. What about administration staff and secretaries. We never ever get a mention. We are in fact going through an admin review and are in the process of being downgraded. Apparently we don't deserve the banding we are now on. How shit is that?! Whilst I have every sympathy with nurses, they are certainly no the worst done by.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 12:08:33

Thepink I'd totally support your right to strike as well and do appreciate the work you do, a good ward clerk is worth their weight in gold! there is nothing they don't know!!

Mycatistoosexy Sat 15-Mar-14 12:16:36

I would support a strike. If all else has failed, the only thing left is your labour.

You are key workers. You should be paid a wage that reflects inflation and offers financial stability. You provide a service to the country and should be remunerated accordingly.

Imnotmadeofeyes Sat 15-Mar-14 12:19:35

Honestly? I'm a commie at heart and would love to see the RCN support and facilitate protests and campaigns. The problem I see is that a lot of middle management upwards are in the same union so it's a massive conflict for them.

Again in my very, very humble opinion the late nineties/early nougties push to get clinicians in senior positions hasn't aged well. I get the logic, but the requirements of those positions have changed hugely leading to massive swathes of the nhs being run by people who don't have the talent or knowledge, and are therefore managing in fear and arrogance. My heart literally sank at the introduction of CCG's. I'm sure they're made up of incredibly talented clinicians on the whole, but not everyone can be Alan Sugar and they're just playing at knowing what they're doing. Half will be concentrating on patient care and half will be overwhelmed by the figures they're dealing with - bad decisions will almost certainly be very regularly made. That's not even touching the unscrupulous members. My old employing trust has never failed to make a mention when scamming GP's have come to light.

I think the reason it's become so ingrained is the frontline is never listened to on mass. The CEO's are the ones to comment, you hear very differently from staff lower down the chain. As an example there was a coder in the paper recently who had whistle blown on the fact she had been told and was expected as a matter of fact to fudge the figures. From my experience working in the nhs I can well believe it but it's not the scandal it should be, with everyone with similar experiences questioning why this is so common. Similar stories came out about the rtt pathway and were dealt with nice and quietly.

The nhs need a truely neutral and focused outside body to resolve staff and patient concerns. How can real improvements be made when it's easier to pass the buck to the weakest target to blame and then quietly go back to business as usual? How can anyone in such a huge organisation draw attention to potential problems that could be nipped in the bud when the organisation itself stops things at 'informal resolutions' time and time again with no one higher up taking an interest due to following the proper channels of complaints and concerns so things have to reach criminal or legal limits before anything might get done.

Sorry for going on blush, I'm just a huge fan of the nhs and the stuff I saw and heard whilst I worked there disillusioned me massively in any hopes it was fixable.

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?

WilsonFrickett Sat 15-Mar-14 13:21:14

I too think there are a lot of issues around this and if you strike without a very clear message behind it, you won't have the support of the general public,

For eg you said wrt to increments there is a lot of work (paper) that goes into being ready for an appraisal as well as the competences etc you have to meet in order to be awarded your increment. Em, yeah - like in every other job in the world. Striking because your appraisals are tough won't wash. Striking because of culture won't work (and what posts highlight here are a number of cultural issues), because cultures can't be imposed on organisations, they grow from within.

I support the right to strike, so therefore I support the right of anyone to strike, even midwives. But if you don't do it with a clear, supportable objective you won't bring public opinion with you.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 13:22:40

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

You're completely right, but we've already asked for minimum staffing levels, in fact the Francis Report advised it but it got ignored - the decision was made this year that we weren't getting minimum staffing levels.

So we're doing our best, and it's a spit in the face that we don't even deserve a minor pay rise. It would make it that little bit more easy to cope with if we were getting pay to reflect how much we take.

MrsMcEnroe Sat 15-Mar-14 13:24:47

So you're not going to get the minimum staffing levels that you believe you need in order to do your job competently, and your proposal is to strike in protest???? Thereby reducing staffing levels further, and endangering patients? Who is going to do your job - you know, stopping people dying - while you're on strike?

Viviennemary Sat 15-Mar-14 13:27:53

No I wouldn't.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 15-Mar-14 13:29:02

I probably would, but i'd be nervous if I was pregnant!

Dd2 was nearly delivered by paramedics anyway, local hospital was closed (full) and homebirth mws all busy - someone from community mW team made it on time luckily.

Before that a friend of mine gave birth alone because the mws couldn't come for half an hour.

I'd support over pay because they don't deserve a pay cut.

But low numbers of staff/beds would get me on the street with them!

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 13:36:17

I think we should strike over that too. I fully support that. But since this is talking about our wages..

It's not one or the other. It's both.

Who is going to do your job - you know, stopping people dying - while you're on strike
There would be skeleton staff. In-patient appointments and any non urgents would be cancelled. I'm not saying it would be completely safe either. But yet again people are expecting us to be martyrs and it's that point of view that plays directly into the governments hands to play us off as selfish or greedy. We are expected to be advocates for our patients, yet we aren't even allowed to advocate for ourselves without receiving a backlash.

None of us want to strike. We care deeply about our patients which is why we put up with the crap to begin with, but where's the means to an end? What do we do? We've petitioned, we've wrote letters, we've campaigned... nothing. Striking is always the last step before quitting altogether. But it would seem people prefer us to roll over.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 13:44:03

wilsonfrickett (love the name) you said... For eg you said wrt to increments there is a lot of work (paper) that goes into being ready for an appraisal as well as the competences etc you have to meet in order to be awarded your increment. Em, yeah - like in every other job in the world. Striking because your appraisals are tough won't wash.

I totally agree, I only highlighted this because the government are intent on making it seem like we get these increments just for turning up and that is not the case.

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Sat 15-Mar-14 13:47:56

Agree 100% with your last post Nursey.

Imnotmadeofeyes Sat 15-Mar-14 13:52:30

I think wilsonfrickett is right. Protesting or striking over recommendations from the Francis report not been implemented within trusts would have far more public support than over pay.

To make it clear, I don't think a 1% rise is anything but goading, the cynical side of me agrees it's to demonise clinicians in the eyes of a public who will automatically compare their own situation and decide that any hint of a moan is greed etc. it's a sneaky under hand tactic, but fits with this administrations agenda of making out that anyone who isn't profit making for the country is a leech.

Realistically speaking, it's not a battle that you're likely to win at this moment in time given how the county's finances are being managed.

Sooo, if the climate at the moment isn't looking receptive why not focus on making the work environment for the salary rather than the other way around?

Improvements in culture and therefore care would lead to much greater chances of improving pay in the future. That's not going to happen unless the few times that this is looked at independently and recommendations are made are fully embraced and enforced properly and effectively.

I'd take the bet that despite recommendations made in the Francis report you have anecdotes or evidence of things that could of changed that haven't. You have it in black and white, if staff can be moved to strike then make it really worth it.

Strategically clinicians have trained for a lifelong career, money can only motivate to a point if the conditions are horrific.

zeezeek Sat 15-Mar-14 13:59:29

On behalf of the NHS admin and management staff I know, and have worked with for many years, I would like to point out that they are being totally screwed too. many of them are also at the top of their band and even if they are not, the incremental pay rise is less than 1% anyway in many cases (I'm talking about the Bands 3-8c here btw). They too have to work more hours than they are supposedly contracted to do in often difficult circumstances. Some of the lower management posts are squeezed from both above and below and now feel as if nothing they do is right. On top of that they have to endure insults from the public, the government and often even frontline staff.

Everyone in the NHS is squeezed - wherever they work and whatever their position.

Everyone in the public sector is treated as if they are no better than a benefit scrounger and made to feel as if they should be grateful that the private sector for allowing them to work.

Pensions are worth nothing, working conditions are stretched and now they've had another kick in the teeth with this pay cut.

So yes, I would support any and all NHS staff who want to strike because, actually, the way we are going on we are not going to have an NHS and, frankly, that would endanger more patients lives than a one day strike.

Paintyfingers Sat 15-Mar-14 14:02:55

No. Many of my friends in other sectors have been made redundant and most have total pay freezes. Not even 1% increase.

maddening Sat 15-Mar-14 14:03:02

No I would not support a strike of essential services especially over pay. what about campaigning for public support? I would add my voice to that and campaign for better conditions.

Striking is not a positive move imo - it is borne of a negative mindset and costs in an area already stretched.

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Sat 15-Mar-14 14:07:44

Good post imnot

Problem is, we did exactly that. We changed the culture and conditions on the ward. We petitioned extensively to stop the closure if the ward. We proved our staff were invaluable and highly skilled.
We worked our arses off.

The issue is that now we are expected to kept to the same high standards while 'they' continue to cut funding and staffing levels. It hasn't made a blind bit of difference for the staff. Of course the patients care is better, that was the whole point of it.

But years down the line, it seems as though the staff have made a rod for their own back.

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Sat 15-Mar-14 14:08:12

Sorry about all the typos - on phone

Mycatistoosexy Sat 15-Mar-14 14:10:33

Zeezeek has it right. Without treating our nurses, doctors, all NHS staff fairly and with respect, giving them the means to earn a reasonable wage, to work in the right conditions and listening to them when they are at the end of their commitment, we will not have an NHS any longer.

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Sat 15-Mar-14 14:14:36

Sorry forgot to add....

Being denied that 1% payrise is a kick in the teeth.

Imnotmadeofeyes Sat 15-Mar-14 14:20:12

Me too hotdog - I'm just hoping there's no pedants on this thread grin

It shouldn't have to be a constant battle but it is. It's great that one ward in one hospital was so motivated and had people who had the strength and inclination to improve things that they actually made a real and tangible difference. It's not a rod, it's something to defend.

When you hear success stories from the front line they're also always in isolation. Our trust sang the praises if a team who managed to go paperless and encouraged us all to follow their lead. Our manager may as well have just told us to go fuck ourselves because of the initial cost of a project like that in our department. Long term it would have been amazing, but under the surface of it the trust just didn't care about anything but the bottom line.

Apply that logic to clinical improvements and well, ta da!

A clinician/patient movement outside of the trusts that highlights these scenarios and demands real action and accountability for these decisions is what's needed.

I think there's a 'save our nhs' organisation. I don't know much about it to be completely honest but I wonder if it would benefit from more nhs workers supporting them?

<goes off to google>

Mycatistoosexy Sat 15-Mar-14 14:22:51

To the people asking about campaigning and getting the public on their side. They have. Extensively.

Marches, petitions, campaigns. If you feel strongly about refusing them the right to strike then people must lend their support in other ways. The NHS is for all of us and we need our nurses. Let's get involved in helping them more. A rather different version of "we are all in this together". One based on solidarity amongst workers, not borne out of a desire to exploit.

NearTheWindymill Sat 15-Mar-14 14:26:09

Can you answer me a question please OP? Are working conditions worse than they were in 1996?

I got 1% this year. I moved from FE to HE. I hadn't had a rise for three years before that. I have to contribute 6-7% to my pension - my employer matches that. I am very very lucky.

What does the equiv of a staff nursae earn please?

I would like to note some of the MNet threads where women share their experiences about things like sweeps, miscarriage, generally unkind comments.

I think a really efficient, caring holistic nursing service woud deserve more. I'm afraid I'm not entirely sure that's what we have at present. I think improved we need a greatly improved standard of care first.

If there is to be a strike I think it has to focus on patient care as a priority.

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Sat 15-Mar-14 14:30:03

Another good point about the money involved to change for the better.

It took thousands in a full refurbishment, New equipment and systems to be put in place.

We raised our own money through sponsored activities to buy things like recliner chairs, orientation boards, TV/radios etc. There were a hell of a lot of unpaid hours put in.

But because it took a lot of money, like hell are the trust going to do it for every ward/department. They couldn't afford to.

Not every member of staff are going to want to do what we did. I'm not even sure I would advise it now tbh.

It was one of the most stressful times of my working life. We were reduced to tears quite often and morale was at an all time low. You can get paid exactly the same elsewhere with less stress and effort.

I completely understand why staff do it. Many of the staff that went through it no longer work on the ward, which is such a shame.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 15-Mar-14 14:31:09

Those saying don't strike over pay are missing the point. Strikes can only be about pay & conditions. Strikes are not allowed over other things otherwise people would be out over them instead. Very clever to make it only about pay because it's guaranteed to avoid mass support for the striking unions.

I support the strike.

Paintyfingers Sat 15-Mar-14 14:44:59

Windmill, I think you make really telling points.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 15-Mar-14 14:49:07

I think a really efficient, caring holistic nursing service woud deserve more. I'm afraid I'm not entirely sure that's what we have at present. I think improved we need a greatly improved standard of care first

Thats going not going to happen. Doing more than than the minimum, genuine caring, takes time. Time costs money. At the moment there are barely enough staff to provide the minimum.

gordyslovesheep Sat 15-Mar-14 14:56:11

yes

I would support it. I'd be terrified by it (am due DC2 in August) but I'd support it. I want the people looking after me to feel valued and supported by the government for doing these vital, often life-saving jobs.

iliketea Sat 15-Mar-14 15:04:29

I don't support strike action (as a nurse with huge levels of responsibility, getting paid considerably less than my teacher sibling and with more education as a nurse than she does as a teacher).

The government doesn't give 2 hoots - the only people the strike would hurt is vulnerable patients, and quite frankly they already get a poor service with cuts at every turn.

You cannot provide high quality, safe, compassionate care at current staffing levels - the CQC(with all their faults) have identified many trusts around the uk with staffing levels that are too low to provide safe care. Quite frankly, the health unions should be pushing that agenda than wasting their time fighting for a pay rise which is not going to make a blind bit of difference to most staff (average £15 -20 per month before tax).

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 15:17:03

To whoever asked (I've lost track!) I wasn't in the NHS in 1996 (only been in service 8 years) however talking to colleagues they've never known more strains to be placed on us than there are at present, bearing in mind I'm a midwife not a nurse, birth rates are at an all time high, we have an ageing workforce and we're being squeezed left right and centre.

A NQ staff nurse/midwife earns just over 20k full time basic.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 15:18:37

£21,176, I've just double checked.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 15:19:03

On another note holiday I wanted to do a conversion course into midwifery because I wanted to be an independent midwife, only thing is there's no insurance is there sad

MoominIsWaitingToMeetHerMiniMe Sat 15-Mar-14 15:23:41

Yes I would support it, but I'm not going to lie - as someone due to give birth in 6 weeks I'd be immensely grateful if any did break the strike, and would hope they wouldn't be judged, as it isn't like jobs where a strike just means a day's pay is lost.

I'd be terrified, but ultimately I'd support a strike because the work they do is incredible considering the huge amount of paperwork they have to fill in. A number of stays in hospital put me off going into nursing, because of the sheer amount of paperwork they have to do, the huge amount of work they're expected to put in and the way so many people (including patients!) still criticise them for things that aren't even their faults. sad

giggly Sat 15-Mar-14 15:51:20

I remember the threatened strike action in Glasgow in 1990 over pay and conditions, all new contracts where 12 weeks only at the same time as managers where given BMW 's as their company carsangry
I left the NHS then and went into the voluntary sector where I remained for years until going back in.
Nurse threatening strike action always state skeleton staffing is provided, don't know why people would be "terrified" as a service would still be provided and as only "emergencies " would be admitted hospitals would have fewer bums on seats, management would cancel non emergency prior to the strike date.

I have been a nurse for 25 years and would strike at the drop of a hat for pay and conditions for my actual worth. Having watched/ listened/ supported my friends and family who are in the teaching profession it is the ONLY bargaining tool available . Aibu to ask, who the fuck voted these vile self absorbed wankers in?

hamptoncourt Sat 15-Mar-14 15:53:40

yes I absolutely would.

NewBeginings Sat 15-Mar-14 15:57:52

I would support a strike

No. I knew what I was signing up for. No one goes into nursing for the money.

NearTheWindymill Sat 15-Mar-14 16:17:27

OK. I chose 1996 as the midway point between my children. So, things were better back then. My son nearly died because a midwife (I was the only woman in labour) didn't realise the cord was round his neck. Once I got home I had a different community midwife every day and with the exception of one of them they complained continually about how overworked they were; how the service was falling apart; how they were grossly underpaid; how the government (the terrible terrible Tories - yes discussing their politics with a patient in the patient's home) was destroying the NHS and as soon as we had a labour government all would be well. One was unspeakably rude, one was incompetent and gave the wrong advice about engorgement and mastitis. My health visitor did exactly the same.

Now, my difficulty with this is that I don't remember a very good service 18-20 years ago when it was supposedly easier and better funded for the staff.

I am sure the OP knows what happened to the boy who cried wolf. If there had been a little more professionalism a generation ago I think I would be a little more sympathetic now. The rot was sadly allowed to set in and the only way to get rid of it will be to cut it out and I have a nasty feeling it will be cut out by the dismantling of the NHS. It isn't the government who have killed the NHS - in my opinon it is those who work in it.

I am sorry OP but I've seen the argument played out before as did my mother in the 60's when the UK imported nurses from the commonwealth. Since its inception the NHS has been a sacred cow but the sacred cow got too fat and too complacent and is long overdue for slaughter.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 16:19:52

Would you work for free then littleballerina?

You do realise in effect our pay is being cut.

I didn't go into nursing for the money, but I need wage that can put food on the table and a roof over our heads. If inflation continues to go up, if registration fees and pensions continue to go up, and my wage stays the same.. then I'm no longer going to be able to afford to do that. So I would have to leave nursing.

So yes, we don't go into it for the money but we sure as hell can't ignore the fact we're now getting less than before.

meddie Sat 15-Mar-14 16:20:53

Yes I would support a strike. The government have totallly ignored the pay review body agreement, yet their argument over their own rise was it wasnt up to them it was their pay body so they had no choice but to accept 11%.
Incremental rises are not a pay rise. They are a means to pay less than the job rate for years.
A nurse starts at the bottom of their band to reflect inexperience then gets yearly increments until they reach the top of their band which is the actual pay for the job. This takes about 7 years. During this time they have a number of gateways which they have to achieve to continue up their grade. So effectively the government are getting cheap nursing until they reach the top of their band.
To sell these increments as pay rises to the public is disingenuous.
I would also strike for minimum staff ratios

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 16:23:25

^A nurse starts at the bottom of their band to reflect inexperience then gets yearly increments until they reach the top of their band which is the actual pay for the job. This takes about 7 years. During this time they have a number of gateways which they have to achieve to continue up their grade. So effectively the government are getting cheap nursing until they reach the top of their band.
To sell these increments as pay rises to the public is disingenuous^

This is what I was trying to explain in another thread but couldn't articulate it as well as you have.

jellyandcake Sat 15-Mar-14 16:34:17

NearTheWindyMill I have always had an excellent experience of the NHS and in two pregnancies could not fault a single aspect of the care I received from the midwives and health visitors. They have been consistently brilliant and I value them completely.

The government are undoubtedly trying to dismantle the NHS, but it's for ideological reasons and not the fault of the staff themselves. They will replace it with something far worse and we will all desperately miss the service as it is now, even with all its faults. I dread to think that my children may grow up without the NHS and face a healthcare system similar to the American one - it's terrifying.

jellyandcake Sat 15-Mar-14 16:41:16

And giggly I'd be terrified if midwives went on strike around my due date (six weeks away like Moomin!). I'd be very afraid of a 'skeleton staff' when I go into labour as I have planned a home birth which presumably couldn't be covered with a skeleton staff. My next choice of birth venue would be my local very small birth centre where I had dc1, I doubt that would run in the event of a strike and I might face travelling 40mins to a hospital where I really do not want to give birth.

So from a personal perspective, I hope midwives are not driven to strike. But if they are, they have my support.

NearTheWindymill Sat 15-Mar-14 16:45:49

I think you were lucky jellyandcake. I still remember coming round after an erpc after discovering a pg hadn't developed properly at 11 weeks. I was upset and the nurse looking after me turned round and said "oh did you want it then".

I think my dc will be get a better service if we have a healthcare system like that in America. We have health insurance anyway because I don't feel the standards of care are high enough.

Every time I looked at my notes when I was pg something had been recorded incorrectly by the midwife I saw. I think it's hard to have faith in people who can't write a correct note. I once said I was unsure if I would breastfeed (and this was a very big issue for me - long story). That was transcribed as intends to breastfeed - when I called it I was told they always wrote that. It was very important to me that people knew I was unsure because of previous problem and what is the point of asking the question when you are going to make up the answer. That is factually incorrect and extremely discourteous in my opinion. Further it means trust breaks down straight away.

A part of me thinks that forms have to be completed and checked and rechecked because the level of errors is just so high. It really isn't rocket science to be able to record information correctly the first time round but so often I have picked up notes and found what has been recorded to be incorrect.

When my dd was admitted to hospital via a&e she had to go back to Xray from the ward. The nurse had to accompany me and the porter to carry the notes. 10 minute walk there, 20 minute sit down, 10 minute wak back. Why couldn't the porter have carried the notes if I wasn't allowed to. Didn't seem like hard work to me but it did seem like a totally unnecessary skive. And this was a staff nurse too, not an auxilliary - that would have been more acceptable.

Trapper Sat 15-Mar-14 16:47:06

I wouldn't. If you don't like the pay - leave and get another job.

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Sat 15-Mar-14 16:49:15

So windymill, because you had a bad experience you're saying basically we are all the same and we don't derserve any better?

Did you complain about your care and the staff involved?

Another problem we face is being tarred with the same brush as bad staff.

I'm definitely supportive of performance pay, but the way things are at the moment, even good staff are failing because of the high demand and lack of staffing.

NearTheWindymill Sat 15-Mar-14 16:49:47

I will add we live in London and I think unless one is seriously ill the day to day care is pretty poor in the capital.

CPtart Sat 15-Mar-14 16:51:42

As a nurse of over 20 years who actually took a pay cut to leave the horrendous wards and work in general practice....yes I would. If "lives are in our hands" then at least bring nurse salaries into line with other public sector workers!

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Sat 15-Mar-14 16:51:42

Patients are escorted by nursing staff to xray or other tests for many reasons. Not just for a skive btw.

NearTheWindymill Sat 15-Mar-14 16:51:59

Too many people have bad experiences hotdog. Far too many. Look at East Staffs, look at Bristol, etc. The poor standards have become embedded.

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Sat 15-Mar-14 16:53:27

Good for you having private health insurance, fat lot of good in an emergency though hmm

JakeBullet Sat 15-Mar-14 16:54:58

I would not support a strike and say that as a qualified nurse. No way would I abandon patients..not ever. I just couldn't do it.

JanineStHubbins Sat 15-Mar-14 16:55:17

I think my dc will be get a better service if we have a healthcare system like that in America.

Are you for real? Do you actually know anything about the healthcare system in the US, and the millions of people who are left outside it?

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 16:57:20

LOL @ us becoming like America! Really?! Really. You would like to see people die then because they can't afford treatment.

I wouldn't. If you don't like the pay - leave and get another job
Well it's a good job we all don't follow your advice hmm

Thumbwitch Sat 15-Mar-14 16:58:00

I used to work in the NHS labs, and it was my understanding then that any strike by our lot, at least, would never be a full one - there would always be skeleton cover. As it turns out, we never needed to consider it while I worked there.

But - I would support a strike by nurses/MWs IF skeleton support was still provided for emergencies. I might not be in the UK any more, but I'd support a strike here too, IF the skeleton service was left in place.

Full refusal to work/cover, no. That goes against the whole ethos of the job, IMO.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 16:58:05

No,it's par for the course everywhere.

Fed up with the public sector thinking they have it worse than everybody else and are somehow more deserving.They don't and aren't.

NHS worker here (Podiatrist)
Our workforce is tiny compared to Nursing but if a strike was to work, it would have to be completely un-announced ( well, obviously everyone would know about it but the General Public wouldn't ) then it will negitively affect the Service Users and get the results the strike needs.

But that won't happen - because anyone who goes into a care industry does so to care.
I personally would not like to think of my patients making a journey to get to an empty surgery.
On the last strike we had (Public Sector Workers) IIRC my DS was in Yr 6 , DD Yr 4 . It was a day that I wasn't at work, but I'd have had to take a day leave anyway because the school was closed.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 16:59:59

Oh for gods sake retro the public sector doesn't think that at all, why do threads like this always result in a race to the bottom? 'I have it shit so you should too?' I have no respect for that point of view although I do respect your right to have it.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 17:00:43

retropear

NO-ONE has said we are more deserving at all, it's people like you who keep creating this public v private argument. If you have an issue, take it up with your employer. Make your own topic. No-one is stopping you from complaining. No-one is saying we ALL don't deserve fairness.

The thing is we can't just take it up with our employer. The NHS can't do anything without the governments say so.

Ladyjaxo Sat 15-Mar-14 17:03:07

YANBU I would wholeheartedly support a strike. The fact that nurses are responsible for peoples life's should be reflected in pay and conditions. The race to the bottom in wages and employment rights is getting disgusting. With the NHS this government has it's own agenda, how many of those MPS are directors or on the board of medical related companies ?

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 17:03:43

Race to the bottom no a question was asked,I answered.hmm

I don't see the public sector ever thinking of those in the private it's just moan,moan,moan about how soooo much harder they have it over everybody else.

The fact is you really don't sooo not getting why anybody should expect support for a strike.

iliketea Sat 15-Mar-14 17:04:28

I see what your saying that it's no worse than any other sector, but compare it for example to the airline industry where customer safety is high priority. The aeroplane wouldn't take off without all the safety checks plus the right number of crew. Or in the rail industry, trains are stopped if conditions aren't safe or the signals aren't working as they should. In healthcare, safety checks might tell you that there's not enough staff, but the 20 sick patients you have for 1 registered nurse can't just be sent home or refused entry because your staffing levels are unsafe. And I think if you ask most nurses, it's not necessarily the pay that's the problem, but the unsafe conditions that we are expected to work in.

ReindeerBollocks Sat 15-Mar-14 17:05:06

A system like America that chooses to let people with long term medical conditions die if unable to pay for vital treatment? No, that would not be better for this country (unless of course it was just for those lucky healthy lot).

I think a 1% increase is still an increase, especially as there are other government services getting massive wage cuts.

However, I would support strike action if people seem it necessary.

I think the 11% increase in MP's wages is a fucking travesty. Especially when the Government is cutting money to services left, right and centre. I suppose they have to keep the old Etonians in the lifestyle to which they are accustomed...

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 17:06:33

retropear You sound incredibly childish I'm afraid. Of course I feel for people in private, my DP works in private and he's getting a shitty deal too. But if his workplace chose to go on strike it would be in the hands of the employer. Like I've said ours would be nationwide and in the hands of the government. So it needs to be discussed on a large scale,

NearTheWindymill Sat 15-Mar-14 17:07:26

Why don't you answer some of the questions I've raise which are serious ones and serious concerns rather than attack the little bits you don't like? Yes, I do think my family would have better care under a fully insured system than it does under the NHS in its present state. The NHS is free at the point of delivery; it isn't free. I think this is something far too many of its staff forget. The NHS does not do me a favour for which I should need to be grateful. It provides a service for which I pay handsomely and have never abused. Unfortunately people have no choice and no say over where their money is spent in relation to the NHS and this has had a very detrimental impact on it. When I use it I expect staff to be polite, competent and professional. I do not expect to be confonted by jobs worths who too often are very rude and who too often don't seem to be particularly busy. If my staff were standing round a PC giggling over images/holidays/facebook and if clients were present they would be dragged over the coals. Unfortunately that seems to happen every time I'm in hospital either personally or with my children or mother and it does not create an example of over work, or professionalism. I have also, on the last couple of occasions I've attended an NHS hospital heard patients being slagged off and other staff being slagged off.

It is completely inappropriate and does nothing to encourage the general public to support your profession. It is absolutely why I have no wish to use the NHS unless absolutely necessary and on the occasions I have to use it, ie in an emergency, then I feel that I need the option of getting out of it as quickly as possible.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 17:07:36

Nursey if those in the private sector take it up with their employer they would very likely lose their job.

Pay freezes have been going on for years in the private sector.

Really hate these threads with an op asking a question but throwing a hissy fit when they don't get the answer they want.

Oh and I'd rather have more nurses and resources than less with pay we as a nation can't afford.

Sorry but the op asked.

cricketpitch Sat 15-Mar-14 17:09:26

No, would not support a strike. Find a job that pays more. If people do this the NHS will have to pay more to get workers. It isn't fair to ill people, babies, mothers in childbirth to take advantage of their vulnerability to get paid more.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 17:09:59

retro
I don't see the public sector ever thinking of those in the private it's just moan,moan,moan about how soooo much harder they have it over everybody else.

The fact is you really don't sooo not getting why anybody should expect support for a strike.

hmm yes that's just what is happening here. I'd actually support anyone who genuinely got a raw Deal in terms of remuneration and working conditions.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 17:12:44

retropear you can't lose your job for asking for a pay rise.

No-one is bothered that you have a different opinion, what is unreasonable about your posts is that you're trying to say we shouldn't be complaining because private sector have it bad too. Sorry but what a load of crap.

Flossiechops Sat 15-Mar-14 17:12:52

Retropears opinion is reflective of many private sector workers I think having seen many debates about this and the teachers strike last year. I don't think it should be one vrs the other as I suspect most of us feel we deserve a pay rise. I'm a nurse with nearly 20 yrs experience and I wouldn't support a strike. I feel in times of austerity we should not expect a pay rise - I fear the pure hypocrisy that comes from this Govt however pits us one against the other. 1% is a piss in the wind to me that would cost millions to implement - it's pathetic, keep it and put it towards better patient care and staffing levels.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 17:13:36

Well you won't gave to look far most companies have been dishing out pay freezes for years.grin

My sister works for a huge charity and is being treated like utter shite at the moment with zero protection.She wouldn't dream of striking,she cares about her clients too much and needs the job she'd lose if she did.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 17:13:56

Chuckling away at the thought that I'm throwing a hissy fit, I really am not at all and I certainly don't expect everyone to agree with me but I have no respect for the argument that everyone should be as badly off as each other instead of fighting to get a fair deal for everyone.

Flossiechops Sat 15-Mar-14 17:15:35

Love the 'if you don't like it find another job' attitude, really helpful hmm

JanineStHubbins Sat 15-Mar-14 17:15:53

Retropear your sister can't be sacked for going on legal industrial action.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 17:16:50

So what are you planning on doing for everybody else who will have to pay higher taxes on top of their pay freezes to fund your pay rises?

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Sat 15-Mar-14 17:17:23

I also hate it when people mention Mid Staffs etc. Everyone agrees that what went on there was fucking wrong.

But seriously, do you think that the thousands of staff working within those trusts were all bad eggs?

The NHS is much bigger than just Mid Staffs. Thousands of people bust a gut every single hour of theday up and down the country.

Of course we are all just like those who failed the patients there hmm

Flossiechops Sat 15-Mar-14 17:18:04

Like I said it pitches one against the other. ^

PlumProf Sat 15-Mar-14 17:18:45

No, I would not support a strike. Strikes are a good way for employees to put pressure on a commercial employer when they have a genuine grievance - the employer has to weigh up the cost of lost days' profits with the cost of whatever the workforce are demanding. In turn, the employees have to think carefully before they strike as they would not want to push the employer under which makes them circumspect. NHS midwives are not in the commercial sector. No money will be lost by the employer. No risk is taken by the midwives that the NHS will run out of money. The only effects of a strike will be felt by the sick and the vulnerable, with the kicker of a sort of knock on blackmail effect on the government via the suffering of pg mothers and newborn babies. That is not acceptable.

Thumbwitch Sat 15-Mar-14 17:21:07

There are some serious lack-of-understanding posts on here. <sigh>

The NHS has been squeezed and squeezed ever since the Thatcher administration. It needed to be streamlined, but what actually happened was not streamlining. Hospital Trusts were supposed to make staff more accountable - but what happened was more managers came in, money was spent unnecessarily on posh offices, fleet cars etc. (I worked in the NHS at the time). That was in the first wave.
Later, managers were given budget cuts that had to be adhered to, or they would face penalties. I have a friend who was a manager, finding this budget cuts. She pared down her facilities to the bone - and was rewarded by another budget cut the following year. HOW was she supposed to find more cuts when the service was already running on bones?

A mental hospital near where I worked were audited - the staff were asked how many people were needed to run the wards, as a minimum. They said 4. Their staffing levels were cut to 4 per ward. So no room for sickness, holiday, etc. That hospital lasted about a year after this was implemented.

Leave if you don't like the pay, and the Govt will be forced to pay a better wage? Will they fuck. They'll just use it as an excuse to privatise the service.

Make the service better and then you'll get paid more? Bollocks. The Govt will just say "see, they could have done better all along, they don't need better pay/staffing levels, they just need to pull their finger out more".

I've been in this situation. The more you do for what you're already getting, the more they expect you to do for what you're already getting, because you've already demonstrated that you're willing to do more than you're paid for. There is no fairness in this industry.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 17:25:39

There is no fairness in any industry and what you describe is the same everywhere.

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Sat 15-Mar-14 17:26:25

What you've just said in your last post Thumbwitch is exactly what happened to our ward.

Those hard working, dedicated staff have now moved on elsewhere.

iliketea Sat 15-Mar-14 17:27:12

Actually, I think the reason a lot of nurses get het up about pay and conditions is because they do care about patients. I'm not sure that anyone can truly comprehend what it's like to be responsible for the (potentially) the life or death of a patient. And be asking for help from management but get none, and potentially be disciplined for being unable to give 10 patients medication and dinner and assistance with toileting on their own all at the same time; and then complete notes which may have to stand up in court for each one of those patients. I absolutely would not strike for pay, but I do think the public need to understand what the government is doing to the NHS- it will only get worse when it's sold of in chunks to the private sector.

In fact, I think if you asked nurses if they would take a small pay cut with guaranteed increase in staff to safe levels, most would agree in principle.

lolatu Sat 15-Mar-14 17:27:39

These threads are stupid, sure the OP will get a lot of support based on "nurses are important therefore should be paid millions each" (un)thinking, but that's pretty dumb reasoning and why many outside the public sector are fed up with all these strike threats and have exhausted their sympathy.

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Sat 15-Mar-14 17:28:24

Doesn't make it right though retropear, in any industry.

But we are specifically talking about the health profession.

Thumbwitch Sat 15-Mar-14 17:33:38

Retropear - that may well be correct. But I was answering some of the glib/naive responses on this thread, suggesting what nurses/ MWs should do to further their cause rather than go on strike.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 15-Mar-14 17:34:34

Actually I would strike over my working conditions, lack of staff, lack of giving a shit from management and the general politics of it all that prevent me from doing my job, than the pay.

Although how MPs deserve an 11% pay rise is beyond me. Which MP was it that said we didn't deserve a pay rise as we should all be doing our bit for the economy? Just like they are then...

JanineStHubbins Sat 15-Mar-14 17:39:15

There is no fairness in any industry and what you describe is the same everywhere.

Is that a serious answer? So workers are just supposed to sit back and accept it, simply because other workers have similarly poor conditions? Bollocks to that. I support the right of any workers to strike for better pay and conditions, public or private. Whatever happened to a bit of solidarity, for fuck sake.

RachaelAgnes Sat 15-Mar-14 17:40:29

I agree with 'work to rule'. So many nurses and HCSW do over their hours each week, to ensure smooth running if a shift that it would have the effect required.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 15-Mar-14 18:00:46

Thing is, we wouldn't work to rule, because we care too much. We feel guilty about handling things over to the next shift because we haven't had time to do it. I worked over an hour last my shift last week, I won't get that time back or get paid for it.

PunkrockerGirl Sat 15-Mar-14 18:01:50

Don't really want to strike but am fed up working 12 hour shifts with scarcely a toilet break, never mind a meal break. I love my job but get frustrated at never getting away on time to be with my family. Yes we should strike - if only for the fact that nurses in our Trust have to pay to park for work. and can never find a space

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 18:02:20

Janine I actually think those in the public sector have it better so sorry I won't be emotionally blackmailed into "solidarity".

We as a country can't afford pay rises,same as millions of companies who gave been awarding pay freezes for a whole lot longer.

Sorry.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 18:05:28

And if we have got money to splash about how about a tax cut we could all enjoy.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 15-Mar-14 18:05:54

I don't see the public sector ever thinking of those in the private it's just moan,moan,moan about how soooo much harder they have it over everybody else.

Let's go back 7 years and what do we get?

I don't see the private sector ever thinking of those in the public it's just moan,moan,moan about how soooo much harder they have it over everybody else.

Where was the concern in the boom ? Where was the public sector bashing then? Oh there wasn't because the private was doing so much better back then. The public sector has hard won for rights so when everything goes to shit we have some protection. Private doesn't. It's that simple because the private sector enjoy the boom years far far more.

Although I know this is like talking to a brick wall

Sillylass79 Sat 15-Mar-14 18:09:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FabULouse Sat 15-Mar-14 18:09:52

Yes I support industrial action, in fact I believe it's long overdue.

Nurses in other countries have achieved better terms by doing this in other countries in recent years. It is an oppressed and exploited workforce in the UK.

CustardOmlet Sat 15-Mar-14 18:12:47

To those who said moral had nothing to do with a pay rise, try having to work 2-3 extra shifts a week to make ends meet because your pay doesn't reflect the riding cost of living. Add in the fact that agency/bank staff don't want to cover the shifts any more because it isn't worth the money they pay, and you are stretched even further. I have never striked before due to not wanting my patients to suffer, but I have had quite enough of burning myself out for the crap I get paid when MPs prance around on £60k salaries.

Emilycee Sat 15-Mar-14 18:14:40

As someone who is due to give birth in approx 3 weeks, I feel very uneasy about the prospect of a mw strike and would therfore not support one.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 18:19:19

If you weren't going to give birth soon emily how would you feel?

lolatu Sat 15-Mar-14 18:21:21

Where was the concern in the boom ? Where was the public sector bashing then?

There were plenty of people questioning Gordon Brown's profligacy and creation of thousands of public sector non-jobs to buy votes during the boom.

bedhaven Sat 15-Mar-14 18:22:37

I will strike if my union does, however my striking won't affect patient safety but would impact on my colleagues ( who totally support this). I haven't had a pay increase for years now being top of my pay band. It fucks me off hugely that MP's voted to keep their pensions and pay increase all the while choosing to not to maintain mine and my frontline colleagues.
I've already had my cost of living allowance removed (we live in a high cost area but not within weighted area) and the pension that I've been paying into for 20 years affected. I would have been better off in a private pension paying in over the same period with the standard requirements nowadays.
Striking isn't done at the drop of a hat, our conditions and pay have been gradually eroded. No wonder there's so many issues with patient care given the reduction in qualified nursing staff. Those of us that can stand up to losing the pay and not causing dangerous situations need to for the sake of our profession and our families.

gordyslovesheep Sat 15-Mar-14 18:23:21

some of us care enough about our clients TO strike - I have seen services decimated by budget cuts and hiring freezes as well as pay cuts - if no one stands up it will keep happening

a small increase in council tax will save many services from further cuts - we can afford it - council aren't allowed to

SaggyAndLucy Sat 15-Mar-14 19:03:50

Having spent the last week in maternity and neonatal, and having seen how bloody hard all of the staff work id absolutely support a strike.
Several staff members have mentioned that they wish there were more staff and better facilities to enable them to do the job in the way they want to.
If they can't have that then they should AT LEAST get pay levels which reflect the hard work they do under poor conditions.
On a practical level, being in here, I'd be concerned about being left with skeleton staff/agency, but I totally understand the need.
Guys, you ROCK.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sat 15-Mar-14 19:21:31

I think the fact that NHS staff get automatic pay increases each year until they are at the top of their pay scale will make many in the private sector less sympathetic.

I agree with a campaign to increase awareness, but I don't believe in strikes where the only victim is someone vulnerable. A pregnant person can't delay their birth until the strike is over, it isn't like a routine operation being delayed.

scottishmummy Sat 15-Mar-14 19:35:19

An increment isn't a pay rise.it's progression through pay scale,which employee is entitled to
At point of starting job employee is on a banded pay grade,and they progress through that

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Sat 15-Mar-14 19:38:12

The government and the media would like the public to think its a payrise. It plays right into their hands for the public not to support it.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 19:42:04

I think someone up thread explained the concept of payscales really well.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 19:43:29

Anne
Please see below:

A nurse starts at the bottom of their band to reflect inexperience then gets yearly increments until they reach the top of their band which is the actual pay for the job. This takes about 7 years. During this time they have a number of gateways which they have to achieve to continue up their grade. So effectively the government are getting cheap nursing until they reach the top of their band.To sell these increments as pay rises to the public is disingenuous

If the incremental was scrapped, they'd have to pay the top of the band straight away.

PunkrockerGirl Sat 15-Mar-14 20:17:42

My working day.

6.00 get up for an early shift having got home at 11.00pm from a late shift which should have finished at 9.
7.00 arrive on ward having paid to park.
7.10 take handover from night nurse who has not had a break.
7.30 drug round. Takes a long time with many interruptions. Patients complain when drugs are late but also when breakfast is delayed or the ward stinks because a patient has had the audacity to crap on the commode. Which do I deal with first?
8.30 Patient washes. Contrary to popular opinion, we are not too posh to wash and this is how we mostly get to know our patients.
10.00 ward round with the doctor who doesn't know can't be added to read the notes of the patients.
12.00 try and do the stuff from the ward round e.g. discharge planning, ordering tests etc.
12.30 lunch. Drug round, feeding patients. 8 patients, 3 need feeding and there's only me. Plus patients need turning/toileting. IV drugs need to be drawn up and checked.
2.00 Relatives demanding to see doctor who has mysteriously disappeared.
Bed manager arrives to insist on discharging patients to completely inappropriate destinations.
3.00 handover to late shift
Cry
4.00 (in my dreams)
Go home to family.

Yes, we should strike.

BlueSkyandRain Sat 15-Mar-14 20:20:16

No, I'm not sure I could support it. Although I'd have a lot of sympathy with it. My ds was stillborn, and I'm pg again. Even if a skeleton staff were available, if my routine scans & checks were delayed a problem with growth could be missed for a few extra days and that's all it could take for the same thing to happen again. Even if I weren't pg, the knowledge that that could be someone else taking home a memory box rather than a child means the risk is not one I want taken.

Fwiw I worked for the NHS for 13 years, and I agree completely with what thumbwitch posted. But I don't think striking will help in any case, unfortunately it would risk lives and this govt won't shift anyway.

retro I don't agree, I work outside the public sector now and it really isn't anything like working in the NHS.

I'm not sure what the answer is tho sad

GeorginaWorsley Sat 15-Mar-14 20:25:30

25 years experience here and haven't actually noticed much difference whatever govt in power.
We started 12 hour shifts well before 2010 election as cost cutting measure and failed to get breaks from outset.
When we were only there 8 hours it was just about possible to manage ,now 12 plus hours without break is terrible.
No,not just terrible,unsafe.
I hate being asked to check or give intravenous or central line drugs at end of shift,I can hardly trust myself to do it.
I don't really see myself striking,I work in paediatrics and couldn't think of abandoning vulnerable sick children.
Am at top of grade now so no more incremental rises for me.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 15-Mar-14 20:29:53

Incremental rises are also linked to appraisals so not necessarily automatic

dolphinsandwhales Sat 15-Mar-14 20:31:12

No I wouldn't support it. Firstly due to only getting 1% in my private sector job payrise.

Secondly, I always supported midwives until I went into labour. The ones I met were rude, horrible and unprofessional (not saying all are). For example when I cried with pain they told me 'why are you crying, you're having a baby, I thought you wanted one?' told me to go away and have breakfast when I was telling them something was wrong and thank fuck an obstetrician took over and realised something really was wrong and saved dds life.

So no, I have no sympathy for midwives. Oh and they were more interested in chatting through the night at their station than helping me breastfeed.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 20:34:16

Without getting into a my job is worse than yours I'm willing to bet no one in the private sector has bled into their underwear because there is no toilet on the ward that they can't leave because they are the only qualified member of staff. Our antenatal ward regularly runs on only one qualified member of staff overnight, plus an hca, you're only on an antenatal ward if you need to be and there are a lot of high risk situations, everyone is pregnant so the amount of patients is actual double what it appears on first glance. All it takes is for one placenta praevia to start bleeding and a prem labourer to feel pressure and you're completely screwed. That level of responsibility is overwhelming and the government just can't understand it.

IamInvisible Sat 15-Mar-14 20:35:59

No I wouldn't and I say that as someone as an ExNHS worker.

DH is in another public sector group, the Armed Forces, where some are getting a 1% rise. We don't think he is, he is at the top of his rank, but have you seen how much the Forces have been cut? They have no right to strike. He works his arse off, and is lucky if he gets a break at all in the day. He oversees his team and has to check their work, if he misses something that hasn't been done right a fighter jet could fall from the sky.

He has spent 4 months overseas recently, acting in the next rank up because they don't have enough. He wasn't paid for that rank as he should be. There has been no time at work to write his team's assessments, in the last 2 weeks, so he has been doing them at home in the evening and at weekends. There is no extra pay for that as overtime doesn't exist.

Yesterday I had to go to the hospital for some tests. I was called through and the nurse was clearly thinking of another patient when she was talking to me. She said she needed the doctor to write up the drug went off and came back flustered. She asked what I was there for, I said I didn't know (I did) because it was the only way I knew she would check my notes. She came back 10 minutes later and said I had to go for blood tests before they started, and apologised for the confusion as they had another patient called Anne in later that day. I'm not called Anne. It was 8:30am and I was the only person there. She had no excuse. 3 other nurses were laughing and giggling around the photocopier. I don't see why they'd need to strike.

If hospital staff do go on strike no doubt they will bring in the military nurses and use other members in any capacity that they can.

IamInvisible Sat 15-Mar-14 20:38:51

Oh and yes when I worked in a private nursery I bled through my trousers onto a chair. I'm not quite sure why that matters though. I loved my job, but the pay was shit, and I mean shit.

zeezeek Sat 15-Mar-14 20:42:53

SuffolkNWhat - well said.

No one in the public sector will deny that some of their terms and conditions are better than the private sector, BUT, those t&C and pensions have always (and still do) come at a price and that price is (and always ahs been) a lower salary than equivalent private sector levels.

Instead of the private sector continually complaining about public sector "perks" maybe they should fight for equivalent T&C. Or maybe they don't want to take the pay cut?

However, despite my bitchy comments above, I do feel that we all are falling into the government's hands of private sector over public. Why can't we admit that there are pros and cons with each sector and that actually we ALL contribute to this country and the economy in our own ways and we ALL deserve respect from our government. And NONE of us get it.

By dividing us this government wankers are just sitting back and laughing because we are all too busy bitching at each other and are ignoring the plain facts that we are all being fucked over.

PennySillin Sat 15-Mar-14 20:44:33

If hospital staff do go on strike no doubt they will bring in the military nurses and use other members in any capacity that they can.

The military nurses already work within the NHS when they are not operational except for a small number who will have other obligations.(those on permanent aeromed & practice nurses)

PunkrockerGirl Sat 15-Mar-14 20:47:28

Absolutely, Holiday. Can't leave the ward, as frequently the only qualified nurse on duty in case a patient arrests etc. Management have decreed that nurses should not drink on the ward as it doesn't look professional. So while they are sat on their arses in their plush offices we are expected to last the shift without a drink because we can't leave the ward because of their cuts.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 20:51:19

Sorry but saying the private sector is better paid than the public sector isn't true.

Nurses are well paid,as are teachers and the police.

Soldiers who risk their lives on the front line,endure living apart from loved ones,move frequently,endure cuts which endanger their lives and actually get shite pay are the only public sector I sympathise with tbh.

But you never gear them whining.hmm

IamInvisible Sat 15-Mar-14 20:53:02

I know military nurses work in some hospitals, Penny, but they don't work in all of them.

If there was a strike, and the Government could use them, it would be my opinion that they would.

PennySillin Sat 15-Mar-14 20:54:27

Sure but all I was trying to say was that as the military nurses already work within the NHS if there was a strike there are no military nurses to cover. smile

BornFreeButinChains Sat 15-Mar-14 20:55:26

I really really feel for MW.

Over six years ago a friend worked on the maternity reception at a hospital and said the poor MW were breaking under massively increased work load - and yet no back up. no extra funds and no extra staff.

I wrote to my MP who was con, and wrote to Labour and they said yadayadayada....then conservatives came to power and again, nothing.

I think our maternity services are broken.

I think MW should make themselves heard.

IamInvisible Sat 15-Mar-14 20:56:51

There's hardly any military any more, tbh!wink

zeezeek Sat 15-Mar-14 20:58:34

Without all of the public sector this country would be in the shit. Literally.

Bodicea Sat 15-Mar-14 20:59:19

I can't believe that we don't get the 1% if we are not at top of band. The whole point of increments is we increase in value as we increase in skill and experience. If I go on a course and learn a new skill/add a new string to my bow/ take on some more responsibility I don't get a bonus or anything. The increments in the bands are supposed to be my reward.
It was a totally separate thing from an inflation pay rise and it is an insult to treat if as anything other than that. I am becoming more disillusioned with the nhs. A lot of my friends have already abandoned it for better pay and hours and workload in the private sector where they appear to realise the value of their skills. The only thing that is keeping me here at the moment is the fact that I am starting a family.

BornFreeButinChains Sat 15-Mar-14 20:59:37

MW are also on a front line supporting people who do loose their babies, people who are butchered, cut, and people who do die, people who are in life and death situations.

When you are that vulnerable you need good MW, to help you. Babies are most likely to die on the day they are born.

The front line of Life.

PennySillin Sat 15-Mar-14 21:00:16

Iaminvisible - true! smile

AnneEyhtMeyer Sat 15-Mar-14 21:00:24

Most jobs have a pay band, and people start at the bottom and work their way up it over time, but nowhere else do they have annual increments like this, it just doesn't happen.

BornFreeButinChains Sat 15-Mar-14 21:00:45

Our family has not had a pay rise since the beginning of the CC, we have lost a large amount of income as well.

I still want MW taken care of.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 21:04:51

They are.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 21:07:28

Anne we don't get an increment just for turning up for a year, we have to have an appraisal, meet criteria, achieve competencies etc, it is performance linked no matter that the government try and insist it isn't.

MrChow Sat 15-Mar-14 21:12:07

Yes I would support it.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 21:12:10

Most jobs have a pay band, and people start at the bottom and work their way up it over time, but nowhere else do they have annual increments like this, it just doesn't happen

No, you're still not understanding what the incremental is. The top of the band is what a nurse should be paid. When a nurse leaves university he/she still has a lot to learn and thus needs to prove competency. The band progression is merely a nurse having to jump through further hoops to achieve the pay we're supposed to be on.

ShakesBootyFlabWobbles Sat 15-Mar-14 21:12:44

I wouldn't support a strike by midwives. In fact, it makes me feel a bit sick to think that vulnerable soon-to-be new mums may have to walk past a picket line on their way into hospital heading into who knows what.
There has to be a better way of making a point than putting babies' & women's lives at risk.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 21:13:34

and bornfree I agree 100%. Maternity services are struggling massively and I don't know how my midwife friends cope. I would even say they have it tougher than nurses.

Bodicea Sat 15-Mar-14 21:13:39

If they don't give us annual increments then they should have a system if remuneration for new skills etc. otherwise there is no incentive to better yourself. For instance I did a year long course learning an entire new skill which involved many late nights studying etc. I didn't jump a band for my trouble but I did go through my increments. If there were no increments what would be the point!

agedknees Sat 15-Mar-14 21:15:02

At least the military get a decent NON contributory pension. You forgot to mention that aim invisible.

7 times in my lunch break I was disturbed. Being diabetic it is important I eat regularly. On the 7th disturbance I sustained a nedlestick injury. I had to take pep(high risk patient). For those who don't know pep is a medicine for people who have sustained needlestick injuries from patients who have hiv etc.

The course lasts a month. You have to have quite a few blood tests. Side effects from pep are not nice. You have the worry that you have contracted hiv etc.

I am the only qualified. I cannot get off and have my unpaid break so I am not disturbed. Yet mp's moan they can't get the wine they want in their subsidised restaurant?

Don't make me laugh.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 21:17:20

Erm to keep up to date.

My dp is so over stretched he has to do his studying in order to keep up to date at home after his 10 hour day sometimes after the work he brings home.

He does it because it will benefit him.He won't get a payrise for it.That said he's lucky his company often fund it,many don't.

zeezeek Sat 15-Mar-14 21:20:48

Only a 10 hr day ha ha ha

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 21:21:20

But you never gear them whining

Your attitude is astonishing. It is NOT whining to want fair working conditions and pay. It is NOT whining to want to be able to afford to look after your family. It is NOT whining to want to be able to do the job you trained to do.

The private sector struggles too, we get it. Make your own thread, complain about it. You wouldn't see us coming over there going 'stop complaining, us public sector have it just as bad'. In fact we'd SUPPORT you in your complaints.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 21:21:38

Oh and he often doesn't have a lunch hour,too many meetings and things to do.You are expected to work through them.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 21:23:26

You have got fair pay and conditions.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 21:24:34

I work on average a 14 hour day. No breaks, no nips to the loo. Everytime I do something I know there's something else I should be doing but there's simply not time. I know that in everything I do for one person, there's another one missing out. It's not just paperpushing, it's people's health. I go home, and study because I need to progress because soon my wage is no longer going to be able to support my family. I also have children to look after. So please tell me more about this 10 hour day.

agedknees Sat 15-Mar-14 21:24:41

Having no break in a 12 hour shift his not a fair condition.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 21:25:21

Is he banned from eating and drinking at his desk though? And is there a toilet he can access if he wants to go? It's irrelevant really I suppose but just because he has it bad doesn't mean other people can't as well. There are a lot of shit situations I don't know why we can't support each other to achieve better ones.

zeezeek Sat 15-Mar-14 21:25:24

NurseyWursey - you have said it much better than me.

I'm academia, not quite public sector but a lot of my friends/colleagues are NHS. I can assure you that they do not have lunch breaks. They spend a lot of time in meetings. They get in early and work late. They have to deal with crises. They don't get paid overtime and can never find the time to take time off in lieu. They work weekends, evenings, holidays. What fucking more do you want from our public sector?

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 21:25:36

You have got fair pay and conditions

Are you being deliberately inflammatory? I'm sorry I refuse to engage in your sillyness anymore because it's quite obvious our conditions and pay aren't adequate.

No. I'm sorry. I do not support striking. For me it's lazy. You have a point sit and negotiate. And yes find a compromise. Striking stops communication. It doesn't encourage it.

gordyslovesheep Sat 15-Mar-14 21:28:36

listen to the radio more retro - you will hear plenty of armed forces personnel 'whining' or as I call it - expressing concern about the state of their service and the wider implications for society

maybe they should shout a bit louder so people listen to them

I always find it amazing that people get all tetchy about striking nurses etc 'putting peoples lives at risk' while spectacularly failing to see or acknowledge that the issues they are striking over are much more detrimental to lives of their service users

agedknees Sat 15-Mar-14 21:28:44

Nurseywursey, don't you know we are expected to live on thin air?

mrsbug Sat 15-Mar-14 21:28:47

I would support it. The government is screwing over NHS staff and relying on their goodwill not to strike.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 21:29:24

No I'm just disagreeing with you.hmm

Do you not get paid overtime?

PennySillin Sat 15-Mar-14 21:29:39

I worked as a staff nurse on the wards for over 10 years before joining the military. After a career break and doing a return to practice course there's no way I would return to ward nursing under the current conditions . I couldn't do it and I admire those that do.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 21:30:05

Do you not get paid overtime?

No confused

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 21:30:30

Ditto

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 21:31:40

aged

Well I've heard of this new diet y'see, where people are like plants and they don't need to eat, they simply breath oxygen shock

They have been dying.. but it's worth a try.

this is an actual thing by the way

agedknees Sat 15-Mar-14 21:33:02

I think it's a cunning plan to kill off all nhs workers so they don't have to pay us our pensions.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 21:38:07

What makes me sad is there are actual guides and books on 'how to avoid burnout' for health care professionals.

gordyslovesheep Sat 15-Mar-14 21:39:47

I love the idea of overtime grin

sadly not - although we do get incremental rises - provided we meet stretch targets, and other goals - and jump through some flaming hoops

I often work over my allotted hours accruing flex which I can never use since we don't have enough staff to cover

jigsawlady Sat 15-Mar-14 21:43:32

I wouldnt support you for a few reasons.

1. The patients, mothers & babies safety should come first.
2. I've heard a lot about staffing levels, not being able to peovide adequate care etc (think that is more of a priority than pay)
3. I think it's selfish. Your employer is everybody's government -striking for a payrise is a way to blackmsil your employer into redirecting funds from something else to you. In the private sector it might mean they cut back on bosses bonus's, might make less profit, maybe redundancies with the government public services in general will suffer -other elements of nhs, fire crews, schools, local councils funding etc.

I cant support it as if you are successful you are damming everyone else as it will definitely have negative consequences for more people than it helps (as lets face it, they arent going to pay for it by reducing their pay/takkng bankers bonuses)

I work in a job I dislike, the pays ok but the conditions and hours are crap but I made an informed decision and chose to do what was best for me, if things changed then I'd re-evaluate and if necessary find something more suited to my priorities. It feels like if you strike you would be holding the government (and therefore everyone else) to ransom for your own benefit.

If you dont like the pay/conditions/whatever find other employment you're happier with.

I would however support action other than strikes I order to try and improve conditions other than pay.

Sidge Sat 15-Mar-14 21:49:02

I find it amusing that firefighters striked and had the sympathy of most of the public but nurses are expected not to strike. We should put up and shut up because we're all angels expected to work for fresh air and be thankful for our jobs.

Flossiechops Sat 15-Mar-14 21:51:00

Nursey stop engaging with Retropear it won't get your point across as they are clearly not interested in listening.

agedknees Sat 15-Mar-14 21:51:50

We should work to our contracts. Take our breaks. Go home on time.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 21:52:49

Sorry flossie I bite easily blush

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 21:53:50

If you dont like the pay/conditions/whatever find other employment you're happier with

As said previously, I know very very few nurses who are happy at the moment. What exactly would everyone do if we took your advice.

Sidge Sat 15-Mar-14 21:54:39

If you dont like the pay/conditions/whatever find other employment you're happier with.

I'd love to. But I work in a team of 5 nurses in a GP practice; I think you'd find if we all left the patients would be a bit cheesed off that there were no nurses to do their smears, baby jabs, wound care, asthma and diabetic reviews, contraception, travel consultations, etc etc...

We stay because we care about our patients and love nursing, but there will come a point when I can't afford to remain in this job. I don't get incremental pay rises and don't get paid by the AfC banding. In real terms I earn less every year.

Many of you pay your cleaners more per hour than I earn as a nursing sister with nearly 20 years experience.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 15-Mar-14 21:56:11

I have tried before with Retropear on the teacher bashing threads. S/he will not be moved.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 21:58:35

If you want more staff I would support an informative campaign for that(not a strike)illustrating just why it was needed.That said all the times I've stayed on wards with my dc they've had more than enough staff and I've done the maj of care.

But re pay and pensions(in particular the latter) sorry not so sympathetic.

Oh and I certainly didn't support the fire fighters.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 22:00:15

I do support teachers in some things ie not cutting holidays or increasing the day.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 22:00:15

If you want more staff I would support an informative campaign for that(not a strike)illustrating just why it was needed.

Been there, done that.

Flossiechops Sat 15-Mar-14 22:01:39

Like a broken record..... confused

caroldecker Sat 15-Mar-14 22:03:40

I do not see why private hospitals, funded by the NHS, is such a big issue for so many people. Each hospital would set its own pay and conditions and would negotiate with its work force, the govt would just fund and monitor them. These work all over Europe, often with less cost per head than the NHS.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sat 15-Mar-14 22:03:46

I am trying to tell you why you won't get public support for a strike. Whatever you say the pay increments are for, people will see them as a pay rise. I didn't say this was right or wrong, but this is what you are up against.

You say the top pay band is what a midwife should be paid, but that isn't quite correct. It is what a highly experienced midwife should be paid. So paying below that level is justified.

I also think people will not be happy about pregnant women being used to fight your battles.

There has to be a better way to put your case across without putting undue stress on people who are in a vulnerable position.

SaggyAndLucy Sat 15-Mar-14 22:04:52

I may be er on, I haven't seen a lot of tv recently, but did I hear on the news that other services including dentists and police will get a bigger pay rise? <<hopes im wrong>>

Mycatistoosexy Sat 15-Mar-14 22:04:57

4to1.org.uk

www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/ournhs/nhs-campaign-guide-quality-and-safe-staffing-in-our-nhs

www.unison.org.uk/at-work/health-care/key-issues/be-safe/home/

Here. For those of you who said you would support a campaign. Let's all put up a bit of a fight and try and raise standards for all of us across the workforces, sectors and country.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 22:07:19

Anne I would be really interested to hear if you have a better way, I truly would as it may be something the thousands of us haven't tried yet

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 22:11:09

The poor police are not getting a payrise at all and don't have the option to strike. Dentists are getting 1%.

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

The police aren't either?

Sad state of affairs.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sat 15-Mar-14 22:12:30

If I knew the answer, Nursey, I would be a millionaire.

But a strike would just put public opinion against you, it wouldn't help at all.

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Sat 15-Mar-14 22:13:00

retropear I really don't think comparing your DH's job and working conditions are anything to do with this discussion.

From what I remember from other threads, he works in IT doesn't he?

Comparing an IT workers day and working conditions to that of nursing staff is fucking hilarious!

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 22:13:36

So Anne we really can't win, we're stuck between a rock and a hard place. Public opinion is going downhill anyway because we're blamed for all the failings.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 22:15:19

Really.

Sorry but that is bollocks.

Like nursing the sector varies-a lot.

There are varying levels of stress and crappy work conditions in all sectors.

RVPisnomore Sat 15-Mar-14 22:17:13

No I wouldn't.

Quinteszilla Sat 15-Mar-14 22:18:58

Aside from "top executives" and bankers, who really have pay rises?

Maybe I am out of touch, but show me a private sector worker, like a shop worker or an air hostess, who has had a payrise, lately.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 22:19:21

Oh well retro like people keep saying. He can 'get a job elsewhere if he doesn't like it'.

Coz yano, people aren't going to die if all his sector decide to piss off.

But it's not that simple is it? I wouldn't expect it to be. But I absolutely support if your partner would want to fight for better conditions. It just seems that you don't want us to.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 22:20:38

Quint

I know of a few people, but that isn't the issue here. We're trying to persuade from comparison of public and private. They're too completely separate issues.

Quinteszilla Sat 15-Mar-14 22:22:03

I guess I am just feeling gloomy, I know nurses work hard, but they are not the only hard working profession around, and it seems to me that nobody (I know) has had a payrise in Yonks.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 22:23:16

Ah don't get me wrong Quints we all deserve a pay rise. So does my DP in the private sector, he's worked for that company for ten years and hasn't seen much movement.

It's just we have to complain to the government rather than a company

Quinteszilla Sat 15-Mar-14 22:24:41

Ok, I get the point about private vs public. I dont think I know of any public sector friends who has had payrises. Not charity sector either. But I could be out of touch.

It is difficult though, with front line workers and strike action. <sigh>

I just want everybody to be happy and earn enough. Peace and love.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 22:25:03

Quint, my husband gets a payrise most years, he works in IT, he's not management, everyone in his company has an annual pay review.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 22:25:45

^^ peace and love right back at ya Quint.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 22:25:52

But like teachers you only want to strike for your pay and pensions(which we can't afford).

The campaigning re nursing numbers and Gove measures we never hear about or see any action about.

It just seems that at the end of the day you care mostly about pay and unaffordable pensions which you are prepared to strike over at the expense of your client base.

Pay is shit for everybody at the moment.

Lack of nurses and kids reciting poetry at 4 would get far more sympathy from the public imvho,well this member of the public anyway.

Quinteszilla Sat 15-Mar-14 22:25:52

Thats good. smile

IamInvisible Sat 15-Mar-14 22:26:28

aged some of the military get a decent pension, not all of them. My DH has no option but to leave and find another job when he is 51 at the latest. Do you know how hard that is going to be? He can work for private company, doing a similar job, but will need the pension to make up the shortfall because it would be a lower management level.

The conditions the military work in are totally different to every single other worker in this country. They are called at short notice to deal with all manner of things, they spend months and months in conditions that the rest of us can not begin to imagine and they put their lives on the line. Not only that, they aren't allowed to strike but fill the gap when others do. In my mind they deserve every penny and more.

PennySillin Sat 15-Mar-14 22:27:22

My brother has just bought a car with his bonus and pay rise this year . He's in insurance and not at management level but is very good at his job. Plenty of folk I know who haven't though sad

FudgefaceMcZ Sat 15-Mar-14 22:30:56

I would support it. If MPs can afford 10% for themselves they can fucking well pay more than 1% to people who do real jobs.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 22:31:20

Retro how far would you like us to be run into the ground before you would 'allow' us to do something about it.. genuine question.
And if you were interested, you would see A LOT about staff numbers. Petitions which have been ignored, campaigns, articles..

Peace and love quint

And still.. why are people comparing other jobs? No-one is saying other people don't deserve more. Of course they do, especially our armed forces! That doesn't mean we can't be concerned about our own jobs. I'm sorry but 'i'm glad our armed forces have had a pay rise' doesn't help us much.

And regarding private sector, it's interesting how many employers are using the past recession and people's thoughts on being lucky to have a job as an excuse not to raise salaries.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 22:32:38

Iam their families do too.

Partners can often struggle to hold down jobs due to moving and children are continuously uprooted which isn't great education wise.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 22:36:17

Nursey to be fair a lot of companies have had a crap time.If they go under there is no job let alone a pay rise,workers know that.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 22:38:21

Yeah and a lot of companies are making record profits but using the current state of the country's economy as a whole as an excuse.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 22:38:36

But we are diverting from the point I suppose smile

Quinteszilla Sat 15-Mar-14 22:39:57

"Yeah and a lot of companies are making record profits but using the current state of the country's economy as a whole as an excuse."

Blardy pissing me orf.

Retropear Sat 15-Mar-14 22:42:04

Yes it is.smile

SuffolkNWhat Sat 15-Mar-14 22:44:38

But like teachers you only want to strike for your pay and pensions

Because that's all we are ALLOWED to strike over. FFS if we could strike over the things that actually matter we would but instead we have to work within the confines of what action we can legally take.

Don't worry however because soon no one will have the right to strike and won't the country be a much better place for it (!)

I stongly believe a mw shortage contributed to my daughter suffering brain injury at birth (hypoxia) ans so I would support a strike.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 22:48:53

I'm so sorry about that bigwelly. I'd like to ask how she is now but wouldn't like to upset you.

Piscivorus Sat 15-Mar-14 22:50:08

I am not a nurse but I am NHS so understand the frustration. I am not in favour of strikes however as, like many others, I feel the patient must come first and I also feel strikes would play into the hands of this government who would love the chance to privatise it.

I am in primary care but regularly come across terrible tales from patients regarding our local hospital. Some are due to bad nursing, etc but more and more are due to problems caused by low staffing, locums rather than regular staff, etc. I don't think any of us could leave patients exposed to worse problems than normal with a clear conscience

Roseandmabelshouse Sat 15-Mar-14 22:51:38

I won't strike but I would leave if times got much worse. If I leave the profession the government will have flushed a significant amount of money down the drain.

SaggyAndLucy Sat 15-Mar-14 22:52:49

I work 12 hour days. On a market stall. Some days by the time I finish im barely coherent. The difference between me and a nurse is that they literally have people's lives in their hands...
how is having to work beyond their allotted shifts and having to work overtime to make ends meet acceptable?

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 22:55:30

I worked on a market stall once Saggy when I was 17 to help my friend who sold jewellery, twas awful in the rain and cold!

lolatu Sat 15-Mar-14 23:02:26

But I work in a team of 5 nurses in a GP practice; I think you'd find if we all left the patients would be a bit cheesed off that there were no nurses to do their smears, baby jabs, wound care, asthma and diabetic reviews, contraception, travel consultations, etc etc...

That is a truly rubbish argument

scottishmummy Sat 15-Mar-14 23:04:16

Yes it is
Staff come,staff go.in above scenario they'd hire agency nurse

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 23:08:48

How so lolatu ? The reality is if all nhs workers who were mightily fucked off with the latest turn of events did actually leave to find other employment as we're told to do so frequently, the NHS would collapse in on itself, I think cheesed off is quite mild!

HolidayArmadillo Sat 15-Mar-14 23:10:54

But if all 5 left their posts and agency had to step in then it'd cost a lot more money and patients would suffer.

scottishmummy Sat 15-Mar-14 23:13:17

Cost more,short term yes
Patients suffer,not necessarily
But it is dreadful to think skilled people are demoralised and want to leave.good staff need retained

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 23:13:35

Ah nurses are expendable. We can be easily replaced hmm

Tell that to the women you've taken years to build a relationship up with

lolatu Sat 15-Mar-14 23:13:41

Any industry would collapse if all the workers left at once. The NHS is not special in that regard. Clearly the original question is talking on an individual level.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 23:14:38

The original question was 'if people aren't happy, leave'

The majority of nurses aren't happy.

lolatu Sat 15-Mar-14 23:18:18

They would not all find alternative employment at the same time, if the stream leaving over time became too much the government would have no choice but to make the job more attractive.

Saying you can't leave your job because other people might leave too makes no sense.

BillyBanter Sat 15-Mar-14 23:20:31

Yes I would support a strike.

scottishmummy Sat 15-Mar-14 23:24:18

Even if the staff leave that post,they'll still need a post.pragmatically,to exist

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 23:27:04

Yes I think I'd get a post in cleaning. I'd earn more

JohnCusacksWife Sat 15-Mar-14 23:27:16

No, I wouldn't support a strike. Midwives hold the lives of mothers and babies in their hands. If they are willing to risk those lives for the sake of an extra percent then they shouldn't be in the job. Some jobs are above striking.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 23:30:41

Maybe you should flip that and think if those jobs are so important to society then they deserve a fair wage.

scottishmummy Sat 15-Mar-14 23:31:01

And cusack,given you recognise the skill set is so essential it should be better paid

lolatu Sat 15-Mar-14 23:34:50

Fair wage is subjective, its about £27k for experienced standard midwife isn't it? Plus v generous pension scheme.

Lots of things are important, like cleaning toilets, but we can't all be paid £50k a year for it.

Juliaceasar Sat 15-Mar-14 23:35:35

But its not just about the money, its a reflection of how the government feels about the nursing profession. I am sick and tired of not reaching my home until 8-9pm at night (I am supposed to finish at 5), and by the way that is unpaid. When I am on call, it is not paid at my hourly rate, I am nearly always called out and I also have to appear at work the next day! I love my job but I am fed up of feeling used.

JohnCusacksWife Sat 15-Mar-14 23:38:00

There are loads of professions which deserve decent pay rises. But we haven't got the money for it. Most NHS staff will get a >1% pay rise - not brilliant, I agree, but more than most will get.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 23:42:27

Please read the thread john and you'll see people's replies to that very statement.

lotalu I don't think you spend at least 5 years in further and higher education to clean toilets.

demisemiquaver Sat 15-Mar-14 23:43:14

why dont nurses go on strike about overworked work conditions in general, and having to do too many [formerly medical] procedures like 'doctors on the cheap' without their pay and status [but with their level of responsibility and chance of being sued] AS WELL AS their own jobs????????............all that unfair stress must be the main reason for them leaving the profession

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 23:44:17

Demis we have been informed we can't, striking is just for financial issues such as pensions and pay.

There have been many campaigns and petitions regarding fair working conditions

lolatu Sat 15-Mar-14 23:47:13

NurseyWursey, that's besides the point really, the point being that if you try to justify a strike in terms of "the work done is important", then you're onto a loser because many similarly important functions are performed by much lower paid staff than midwives and nurses.

I'm on the fence on the issue to be honest, but these illogical justifications aren't going to win sympathy from the public at large, which is why I am trying to point them out.

demisemiquaver Sat 15-Mar-14 23:48:23

well could they all just stop doing unpaid work and say they stop work when their shift ends ? if EVERYONE did that surely more posts would HAVE to be created ?

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 23:49:01

really lolatu then why are people saying we can't possibly strike because people's lives are at risk? If our jobs weren't as important then surely we'd be able to strike.. y'know like everyone else?

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 23:49:31

demise if we do it means patients suffer.

JohnCusacksWife Sat 15-Mar-14 23:52:20

Nursey, I've read the thread. Everyone would like a decent pay rise. We're all facing more work with less resource. If you feel able to strike knowing the possible consequences then that's your prerogative...but I couldn't support you.

BillyBanter Sat 15-Mar-14 23:56:06

Everyone should strike then.
the problem isn't that there is less money around, but that more of it has gravitated to the very richest.

lolatu Sat 15-Mar-14 23:58:41

I'm not saying your jobs are not important, I am saying that there are many equally as important jobs that pay a lot less and have worse conditions than nursing. Striking in response to a pay award and attempting to use importance of the role as justification will not win sympathy from people doing those other roles, or anyone really who notices how illogical such a justification is.

demisemiquaver Sun 16-Mar-14 00:00:48

Yes nursey but it leads to burnout which leads to suffering anyway, instead of an admiission thast nurses just cant do everything thats fobbed onto them by doctors and management[like an early post saying obs and care-pklans in triplicate....what for?????????]....THEY SHOULD DIG THEIR FEET IN FOR THEIR AND ULTIMATELY THEIR PATIENTS' HEALTH

Misspixietrix Sun 16-Mar-14 00:31:19

NHS Staff staged a strike / walk out over the H&SC Act. No patients died then. Cuts don't need to be made to the NHS at all. They've had their funding stripped to the bone. Been slammed by watchdog for fiddling their figures on how much 'extra' they've been given...that wrong they then put some BACK in the kitty last year but made it look like they were giving even more. Thousands of Nurses sacked etc and too great a workload on too little a workforce. All calculated and intended of course. NHS staff have campaigned hard to try and highlight many issues, not just on pensions but on the H & S C A. The private companies tendering the contracts and pushing nhs services out (I'm not sure if I'm allowed to write the names on here) and also this week the staff campaigning and trying to stop clause 119 from getting through. Which gave hunt power to close even 'good performing' hospitals... yet oddly enough no one in the media has dared to mention them. Not entirely suprising the mass protest they had outside the Tory Conference centre didn't get a mention neither. hmm they are making it unworkable so they can say 'look it's unaffordable lets save privatise it!' I understand the whole concept of those on ITU etc can't afford to strike but the ones who can and want to. Yes I jolly well support them!

Misspixietrix Sun 16-Mar-14 00:38:04

Also to the ones saying it will put patients at risk. Don't you get it? Patients already ARE at risk. I have Nursing friends and family that are hospital staff. I've also seen it from the other end as a Mother (Dd under Cons care- often been admitted). There should never ever be a need to only just have two nurses on a full ward but this is what is happening. I can't do links but Google is awash with links about dangerous staffing levels. My DDs doctor has had to leave mid discharge examination before as he got bleeped to resus. He was the only one covering the ward AND resus. Now tell me that you think patients will only be at risk if NHS staff have a strike.

Misspixietrix Sun 16-Mar-14 00:43:00

lolatu it is because they can't. it's a Breach of their NHS Employment contract to strike against anything other IIRC. From my understanding the last walk out they staged was like this. They was campaigning over the health reform etc and intention was that they used strike as a platform for wider issues but everyone jumped on the 'look how much they get paid' wagon. Are you on Twitter? Welsh Gas Doc is a good source of info.

ZingSweetMango Sun 16-Mar-14 01:04:24

I'd support a petition to raise wages for midwives & nurses, their jobs are essential and a proper pay rise is long over due.

I'm currently pg so a potential strike makes me worried.

I honestly don't get politicians, governments etc!
free school meals for infant school aged kids, regardless of income from September?! completely daft and waste of money! only those who are truly in need should receive this.

I think the money that they are going to fritter away on people who don't need it could easily have been used towards a pay rise instead.

(but I'm crap at these kind of matters, so my logic is probably rubbish too)

Piscivorus Sun 16-Mar-14 01:17:09

Zing With respect this is part of the problem. The NHS is made up of many different professions but the public only know about doctors and nurses so to say you'd support a petition for raised wages for nurses and midwives does not solve the problem. What about the psychologists, pharmacists, physios, speech therapists, radiographers, etc?

You think about nurses and midwives now but what about after baby is born and you need health visitors and GP practice staff to continue that care?

ZingSweetCoconut Sun 16-Mar-14 01:25:05

you are right, of course!

I was only replying based on the title!

ZingSweetCoconut Sun 16-Mar-14 01:26:22

although a speech therapist going on strike wouldn't put our lives at risk

IamRechargingthankYou Sun 16-Mar-14 01:30:27

Sorry - I started writing and found it hard to stop...

No I wouldn't support a strike - I think rather than look at what you don't have, try and list the terms and conditions of your employment with a more neutral mind. Then compare this with the statutory minimum levels - which are there because many employers would pay and give less if they could.

Yes it appears that many public sector workers feel 'undervalued', and I think a lot of this is created by a 'group mentality' effect - all the 'normal' gripes and moans have been turned outwards - oh look there's a filthy toilet that needs cleaning, it's the government's fault for not providing enough cleaners - not oh look there's a filthy toilet and I can't see a cleaner about so I suppose I'd better clean it so it's ok for the patients, even though I really don't want to and it surely isn't my job.

There is a huge wastage of public funds throughout the public sector generally because of the lack of accountability, lack of 'business' acumen and budget control, an inability to streamline the non-human resources and a tradition of turning a blind eye to blatantly 'wrong' things - from the small to the hugely negligent - because if you're going to 'rock the boat' you'll soon be out.

People-wise it appears that rarely the best progress in their careers accordingly, in fact for leadership positions it seems those keen to progress their own needs do better than those keen to progress their institution for the good of all.

The present government inherited huge public debt and despite all the cuts, public expenditure has increased. The recent decades of public sector 'professionals' working 25 or so years before retiring on a final salary pension at 55, with incremental as well as promotion pay rises, secondments (if you fancy a little change or your workplace would really like to get rid of you but it's too difficult to sack you), the 'free whilst receiving full salary' access to career-orientated qualifications, the widespread acceptance of 'stress' as a valid reason for extended periods of paid sick leave, the post-early retirement return to the workplace in a different role...and on and on...

These and many other things are unsustainable...we all need to feel a bit of pain. When I started 'grafting' at 15 - full on full-time hard labour work, I was to retire at 60 and receive my state pension, this has gradually moved to 66 and will probably be at least 67, so although I've very nearly qualified for my full state pension already, I'll have to work even longer before I can get it. So rather than 8.5 years to wait it's currently 14.5, not quite doubled but nearly. I have done few jobs in which I felt 'valued' by employers (hence I've been primarily self-employed for nearly 20 years) and where I have been valued it's been shown with appreciation and not an hefty pay packet. I have found value in doing the best at whatever job I do, so I'm cleaning a toilet I'm going to clean it really well. I chose this 'working life', rejecting the 'pathway' to 'recognized' success that I was expected to follow and I don't regret it.

All my nearest family work in the public sector, I can honestly say it hasn't made any of them nicer people, their character and individuality and ability to undertake 'random acts of kindness' in an 'unrecognised' way has been replaced by a smugness they link to their 'value' through their job titles. The retired deputy head never really liked children much and their parents were even worse but she liked her post-retirement part-time SEN 'consultant' job - particularly when her workplace would decamp to a seaside hotel for a few days for some "team bonding", the nurse having put in minimal effort to turn her Diploma into a mediocre 2:2 Degree whilst fully funded on full salary is rewarded with money, power (and no waiting time for a knee replacement needed due to her obesity) and now feels the need never to wish to help another human being again unless she's paid for it - she actually used to be quite nice; and the ex-policeman - pensioned out early due to PTSD, helped by his wife's reminders to look depressed if he opened the door or left the house - "Face" she would say to him. And how the Civil Servant even ended up being one in the first place is bad enough - just take it that it helps if your boyfriend is one, and when he kicks you out because you're a selfish twunt -that means 8 months off sick with stress and a transfer to a lovely job, allegedly helping 'war veterans', although you had no time of day for the 'veterans of wars gone by'.

These are examples of people I know very well and I can think of many more examples of people that have become similar through joining the public 'workforce'.

To all of you stop moaning about your job and everything about it, find your 'value' not from me or anyone else but through doing the best at the job that you do - do it well irrespective of the conditions. Care about it more than your own sense of importance and you will find that others will value you too and appreciate you more for it.

NurseyWursey Sun 16-Mar-14 02:48:59

To all of you stop moaning about your job and everything about it, find your 'value' not from me or anyone else but through doing the best at the job that you do - do it well irrespective of the conditions. Care about it more than your own sense of importance and you will find that others will value you too and appreciate you more for it

I read your post with an open mind until you concluded with this. Again it's the mentality than anyone dealing in healthcare should be expected to be saints, martyrs. 'do it well irrespective of your conditions' well yes we do. But there's a line when it becomes completely unsafe to do our jobs and that line has been crossed.

So please do carry on about our 'sense of importance' when the only thing we want is fair pay and working conditions. It's not too much to ask.

HolidayArmadillo Sun 16-Mar-14 05:55:09

I always do my job to the best of my ability. But I'm exhausted. And so many members of the public think I'm a lazy uncaring bastard put on this earth to deny women pain relief just because of my job title. It gets wearing, the least I should be entitled to it proper remuneration from my employer, who just so happens to be the government, because I have no one else to complain to, so I know that private sector workers have it bad too, I do and I know that they feel a sense of ownership because 'their taxes pay my wages' (if I'd had a quid for every time some arsehole said that to me I'd not need a pay rise) but my taxes contribute too, I get to pay twice for being a midwife, once through taxes and again with my family and life and yes I could leave (and I'm seriously considering it) but where would the nhs be if we all did that? As someone up thread said our pay review body recommended a 1% increase across the board! not taken into account! the mp pay review recommended 11% 'oh we must take it, we don't want it of course but that is what the pay review said'. It's interesting that Scotland can afford to ignore the government recommendations and give everyone the 1%, THATS all in it together 'it's shit but we're all getting the same, suck it up' not dividing and ruling between those who get the pay rise and those who don't. If I were Scottish right now I'd be voting Yes and seeing how we got on away from Westminster rule.

Misspixietrix Sun 16-Mar-14 08:09:13

"Do it will irrespective of the conditions" hmm <head.bang.desk>. Pray tell, when a Nurse is left on a ward of 32 patients with only a trainee Nurse to help. How are they meant to 'do their job well' exactly?...

Sidge Sun 16-Mar-14 08:14:50

My post wasn't an argument for striking. It was in response to the "if you don't like it then get another job" brigade.

I was trying to point out that if we left our jobs because we we're dissatisfied with the pay and conditions (which is 5 out of 5 in my team) then patients would be stuffed.

Replacing us with agency would not happen as it would be too expensive, and very few agency nurses would have the skills we have which are which are specific to practice nursing. So until replaced, there would be no nurses to do those things I listed. Patients already have to wait long enough for their appointments, waiting another few months would tip them over the edge!

The NHS is being decimated from the inside out and something has to change.

Misspixietrix Sun 16-Mar-14 08:20:50

Sidge it is frightening how many believe what they are being fed just because it is in print. <sighs>

Trapper Sun 16-Mar-14 08:34:52

Sidge, if you are genuinely only staying in your job because of what would happen if you left, you should probably have a rethink IMO. Nobody is indispensable, and this kind of thinking limits your earning potential. Think you can earn more and get better job satisfaction elsewhere? Go for it! You will be more productive if you are happy. Someone will take your job and be happy doing it for the money too - if no one is available then salaries will increase (supply/demand and all that).

HolidayArmadillo Sun 16-Mar-14 08:35:42

Plus, NHS cogs turn very slowly, I was interviewed in June and didn't start until October. Not unusual. Wonder how a 4 month wait for new staff would go down if we all left because we were unhappy?

I've often wondered why nursing staff couldn't have a "paperwork strike", in other words, make sure patient notes at end if the bed are updated, but refuse all the duplicate abduction triplicate form filling, if paperwork is getting in the way of patient care, then stop doing it and let the government work out how to lie about their statistics themselves.

IamInvisible Sun 16-Mar-14 08:57:08

The MP pay review body recommended an 11% pay rise to come in effect from May 2015. David Cameron has said this is totally unacceptable and has threatened to get rid of the body if they don't come up with a more realistic figure.

Misspixietrix Sun 16-Mar-14 08:59:43

I don't believe a word of that Iam.

Misspixietrix Sun 16-Mar-14 09:01:02

Especially considering they mostly all bloody voted for it!

montysma1 Sun 16-Mar-14 09:06:02

The government stock response for high bankers wages abd continued bonus payments despite all the cock ups................."We need high remuneration to attract and retain the best people"

If this were true ( it's not, attracts the greediest people certainly, not necessarily the best people), then it should apply across all sectors.

However, that's the government stance, so why would they only apply it to banking (and o f course to mps, who also apparently need good wages to attract "good people"

Shouldnt they be offering attractive attractive packages to HCPs to ensure that they attract "good people" or does that rule of thumb only apply when it suits them.?

Or, since they offer poor wages and poor terms and condition, are they by default only intending to attract crap people.? Because that's the logical extension of their oft used arguments (excuses) for high wages in some sectors.

ElsieMc Sun 16-Mar-14 09:06:37

I do not support a strike. It will only lose you public support. We have to listen to our headteacher's politicising school assemblies over her pension rights (yes, really) and this seriously pisses people off. She has a good job in a lovely school - she works hard, yes, but so do so many other decent people.

In the area in which I live there have been several baby deaths at the local maternity unit which has featured on the news and public confidence is already severely damaged. It has also damaged the decent, professional staff's reputations and this would really be the final nail in the coffin. I think the Trust would use this to close the unit and transfer it elsewhere which they have been attempting to do for some time.

Just look before you leap.

Sidge Sun 16-Mar-14 09:12:53

Trapper I'd love to look for a new job but due to my personal circumstances that isn't an option at the moment.

I am certainly not indispensable grin but as with many jobs I have such a specific skill set a move into another area would be unlikely to offer more pay. I am thinking of a whole career change but not in a position to do that at the moment.

It just makes me sad to see what is happening within the NHS at the moment.

MoominIsWaitingToMeetHerMiniMe Sun 16-Mar-14 09:20:25

I didn't think I could respect nursing and midwifery staff any more than I already did, but after reading this thread I'm in awe at the work you all do and the conditions you put up with, only to be treated so badly by those in control of your pay and working conditions. thanks

Roseandmabelshouse Sun 16-Mar-14 09:52:41

For people saying we have an amazing pension, you are slightly mis-informed. Our pension terms have changed a lot. Yes more recent workers are retiring on very good final salary pensions. Young nurses and midwives will be working until at least 65.

I can tell you now, I would not feel able to do my job safely at 65. I struggle now with the shifts and workload now and I am a fit, healthy, young mw in her 20s.

To add to my previous comment- I have been hospitalised twice in the last five years, once for a condition that could have been very serious but wasn't in this case and once for a condition that genuinely nearly killed me. I would still 100% support a strike.

During my time in hospital and the many visits I have had with my children and parents for all sorts of reasons from a possibly broken finger to multiple attempted suicides, I've never seen any staff chatting or giggling over facebook, or doing anything except work at breakneck pace with no time to sit down for a moment. This is in wards, in a&e, in regular clinics. I've visited hospitals at least 6 times a year for various reasons over the last five years and frankly, 6 times means it's been a good year.

In all this time, one person has been a bit rude to me and that was a cleaner. And she probably felt entirely justified at the time!

What I have seen is untold problems that could be solved completely if there were more staff. Whether it's 7 hours waits in a&e- and we were the lucky ones that day-, dementia patients roaming the wards distraught and preventing anyone else from resting, patients pretending to faint in order to jump the queue, patients really fainting, patients wetting themselves or unable to have a cup of tea because no one is answering their bell, visitors making everyone miserable by staying for hours talking loudly til past 11pm, it could all be sorted with more staff.

One thing I would say having read the rest of the debate- nurses definitely need to find a way to let the public know what they're coping with. Unfortunately, I don't know what that way would be.

HolidayArmadillo Sun 16-Mar-14 11:00:16

This is a fairly comprehensive job description on the NHS jobs website for a current midwifery post...


Key Duties and Responsibilities

1. To take charge, in the absence of the midwifery matron, of a ward, Birth Centre or midwifery team and participate in the effective management of the ward/ Birth Centre /team, organising the staff to cover the unpredictable workload

2. To develop a link role to provide enhanced care to defined groups (e.g. substance misuse, bereavement, diabetes etc)

3. To enable the woman to remain the focus of care and work with her to develop her care plans based on good communication, appropriate information. As her advocate, she/he will work in a collaborative way and ensure good communication and liaison with medical colleagues, and all other agencies

4. To work without supervision, according to NMC standards and rules

5. Provide access into maternity services. To undertake a comprehensive risk assessment for all women and determine appropriate care pathways based on the risk assessment

6. To be responsible for the active follow up of “hard to reach” vulnerable, women and to provide flexible, individually tailored care in these cases (including one/one parent education)

7. To interpret and communicate laboratory results and arrange subsequent referrals as necessary

8. To develop/maintain and utilise a sound level of clinical knowledge, competencies and specialised skills requiring clinical dexterity, in all areas (antenatal, labour and postnatal care). This includes encouraging normalisation of birth, waterbirth, cannulation, care of women with epidurals, administration of IV drugs, suturing, maternal and neonatal resuscitation, interpretation of CTG, assisting in theatre

9. To work in a collaborative way and ensure good use of communication skills and liaison with all clinical colleagues and other professionals and agencies e.g. SCBU, GP’s, FNP, FOS, Health Visitors, Safeguarding Services etc

10. To be responsible for identifying safeguarding of vulnerable adults and child protection issues, making appropriate referrals to Children’s services and ensuring effective multi-disciplinary communication. This includes attendance at Strategy, Case Conference and Core Group meetings and preparation and presentation of reports. The post-holder will have continuing responsibility for on-going monitoring, implementing agreed plans and liaising with the safeguarding specialist midwife and other professionals involved

11. To provide psychological support for women and their families throughout the perinatal period. Especially in relation to drug use, teenage pregnancy, personal problems, housing, bereavement and traumatic birth, seeking advice and support as appropriate

12. Working with the midwifery Matron to implement the wider Children’s Centre agenda, including plans to co-locate midwifery teams into Children’s Centres

13. Become a role model for clinical excellence

14. Contribute to creating a dynamic environment conducive to learning and professional development of staff including teaching of clinical skills to junior staff and to participate in audits of approved learning areas

15. To ensure own professional updating through the completion of PREPP and to build a Professional Portfolio of evidence of continuing Professional Development

16. Attend a full programme of statutory and mandatory training

17. To support the research and audit programme within the department

18. To maintain exemplary, accurate and contemporaneous records on mother and baby’s care at all times, including all discussions on care and information given

19. To develop/maintain own knowledge of parent education choices and to support colleagues in providing overall programme for parent education

20. To provide one to one parent education where required

21. To promote and support breast feeding (seeking support and advice from colleagues and the specialist midwife for infant feeding for management of feeding problems)

22. To discuss options and support parents in making informed choices for their care (e.g. re birth plans, pain relief, infant feeding and baby care)

23. To maintain and develop knowledge of the Health Promotion agenda liaising with Health Visitors, Obstetricians, Physiotherapists and those agencies involved in the woman and baby’s well-being. Referral to appropriate services (e.g. Smoking Cessation Services)

24. To plan, implement and evaluate labour and post- natal care for women defined as low risk

25. To provide antenatal, labour and postnatal care for both high and low risk women, giving help and support to junior colleagues

26. To utilise and maintain highly specialised skills requiring clinical dexterity including palpation, suturing etc.

27. To be able to provide care and support to all women throughout labour

28. To support low risk women (and occasionally with the support of the team leader/SoM high risk women who chose home birth against recommended best practice) in planning and having a homebirth

29. To recognise when a pregnancy is developing into higher risk, take appropriate action and clinical advice by referring to an appropriate health professional, whilst providing continuing support.

30. To conduct initial examination/assessment of the newborn at birth and refer as appropriate

31. To develop and maintain excellent knowledge of all “skills drills” including adult and neonatal resuscitation, emergency breech birth, cord prolapse, shoulder dystocia and post partum haemorrhage

32. To deal with obstetric emergencies quickly, safely and efficiently, summoning help and support as required

33. To break bad/sad news and to provide a higher level of emotional support to parents in distressing situations such as for positive screening results, child protection cases, where there is on-going domestic violence, traumatic births, or where a baby has died or has congenital abnormalities

34. To participate in the debriefing process following birth and untoward incidents

35. To develop appraisal skills in order to contribute to the appraisal process

36. To be aware of the Maternity Risk Strategy and to ensure proper reporting of all accidents/incidents within the department

37. To participate in Trust audit activity as part of the Quality Assurance Cycle

38. To assist in responding to complaints and taking corrective action to ensure Trust Clinical Governance and Risk Management policy is implemented

39. To be aware of CNST Maternity standards and to contribute to achieving them through audit, implementation and maintenance of identified objectives

40. To facilitate the achievement of objectives for all allocated student midwives. Completion of students learning documentation, giving guidance and liaising with the School of Midwifery as appropriate

41. To communicate with the Supervisor of Midwives on professional issues concerned with practice

42. To be aware of and base own practice on evidence based guidelines

43. To be competent to use the Trust IT equipment and computerised midwifery system ensuring accurate data entry and use e-Searcher. To access e-mail account regularly (at least monthly)

44. To be prepared to work flexibly, to ensure a comprehensive 24 hour service is always maintained (including on-call where appropriate)

45. To ensure safe administration, storage and acquisition of drugs is maintained.

46. To rotate between all midwifery areas at the discretion of the Clinical services Manager to provide a 24 hour service and to optimise personal development

47. To maintain high standards of personal appearance in accordance with Trust/unit uniform/non uniform policy

48. To assist in the development of maternity services to provide an effective, efficient and safe service in accordance with both Government directives and the Division ’s own vision and business objectives

49. To promote a safe environment for women, babies, visitors and staff by adhering to Trust policies and procedures and by ensuring that safe working conditions are maintained at all times in accordance with statutory legislation and COSHH regulations










Working Environment:

Maintaining a safe clinical environment.

Supporting staff, women and carers in the hospital and community environment.

Direct women contact.

Unsocial hours on a regular basis, including night duty and on call.

Frequent exposure to stressful and unpredictable workloads.

Long periods of concentration to support women (both mentally and physically) through labour.

Frequent need to adopt different positions (kneel, bend, squat or stand) to support choice of birth position (whilst safeguarding own and other midwives’ Health and Safety).

Daily exposure to blood, vomit, excreta and other bodily fluids (with associated odours).

Emotional/mental exertion of managing emergencies and of supporting women in difficult circumstances (e.g. child protection cases) or when outcomes are not optimum (e.g. stillbirth, neonatal death or miscarriage).

Regular need to manage verbal and occasionally physical abuse from women, relatives and visitors.

Dealing with diversity in an ever changing environment.

First line managing emergency situations in non-hospital environment.

Oversee the safe use of drug therapy in an appropriate environment.

Administer drugs in accordance with Trust Policy.

Lone worker-involves working alone in the community and driving alone at all hours and in all weathers.

ImNotAFlower Sun 16-Mar-14 11:14:08

I'm not sure what the fuss about increments is all about!I have just had my latest one... It worked out to be 7p an hour increase, I am just deciding how to spend it all grin. The thing is the majority do not work for the NHS for the money and are well aware of the implications when they accept the job. I have worked for them for 12 years and could work for the private sector if I chose to, I don't therefore why moan?
Nurses and midwives do an amazing job under immense pressure and duress, do they deserve more? Absolutely! but do they HAVE to work for the NHS no.

NearTheWindymill Sun 16-Mar-14 12:21:16

The complaints about retirement age are beginning to stick in my craw. It is not just midwives and teachers who will have to retire later. It is EVERYONE. I am 54 this summer and I can't retire until I'm 66. That is the same for every single person in the UK. If nurses/teachers become unable to fulfil their duties due to ill health their employers will either have to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act or they will take ill health early retirement. It is the same for everyone.

I'm also a bit confused about these bad working conditions - I don't know a lot of nurses but when my DC were at school; the mums who were nurses used to be glad to work double shifts (12-16 hours), nights, over weekends. They did 36-40 hours when their DH's were at home and had no childcare costs. I'm pretty certain too that they were on a bit more than £21k per annum. I seem to remember figures closer to £30-35k being mentioned. I didn't think that was bad for people who had got DDE at A'Level.

NurseyWursey Sun 16-Mar-14 12:27:21

How patronising is your last comment. For the record I had to get 45 credits at Distinction, which are the equivalent of A's.

I don't really think belittling nurses is a good way to back up your opinion.

NearTheWindymill Sun 16-Mar-14 12:40:57

It's a statement of fact.

HolidayArmadillo Sun 16-Mar-14 12:41:48

Starting wage for a nurse now is 21k, it will have been a lot less several years ago. As you say. You don't know a lot of nurses.

NearTheWindymill Sun 16-Mar-14 12:45:05

Yes, starting wage. But what are they on after 10 years and a couple of promotions? This isn't about starting wages and I doubt there are many nurses on £21k after 10 years experience. I started back at work 10 years ago at the bottom on the equivalent of £17k. In the public sector but because I took my qualifications and am good at what I do and now manage a team it isn't what I earn now. I think it would be helpful to have the facts and some information about when overtime becomes payable, working patterns, holidays, etc.

NurseyWursey Sun 16-Mar-14 12:47:46

It's a statement of fact? No it's one example. I think you've really lost your right to debate when you have to start implying we're all thick to get your point across.

Thumbwitch Sun 16-Mar-14 12:49:09

That IS a pretty comprehensive job description, HolidayArmadillo! Makes me even more impressed with anyone who chooses to do the job.

I'mnotaflower - I don't believe that people going into the NHS do realise exactly how wearing it can be - especially as conditions may worsen over their working life. When I started in the labs, my pay was abominable. As a graduate, in any other field, I could have been earning 50% more than I was. I chose to do the job because I wanted to - but I had to leave because the pressure of working continually below correct staffing levels was causing too much stress. I still miss the job - but not the stress that went with it.

NearTheWindymill Sun 16-Mar-14 12:51:45

Nursing Times - Nurse Practitioner, GP Surgery, £48k plus benefits. Band 6 job - NHS website are £25,700 to £34,500. The pay bands for my public sector job don't look dissimilar - the people on the lower grades are very early career or only partially qualified.

NearTheWindymill Sun 16-Mar-14 13:00:47

This is what the NHS website states as a requirement for entry onto a degree

You will usually need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above (typically including English language or literature and a science subject), plus two A levels or equivalent. However, some universities may ask for three A levels so check with them directly.

This is what the same website says for entry into general nursing:

There are currently no national minimum academic entry requirements into nursing courses so each higher education institution (HEI) sets its own criteria.

The above two requirements spotlight the problem in my opinion. If nursing is to be viewed as a profession with a professional salary attached then the entry requirements need to be considerably more rigorous.

The old SEN/SRN system could do with a comeback except that the problem is it has sort of. The old SEN's were allowed to join the SRN's based on experienced which diluted the status of the role and then HCA's were brought on board to replace the old SEN jobs diluting standards even further. What seems to have been lost totally is the training that teaches nurses to nurse and that is what seems to be missing to me. Too many nurses don't even treat their patients with basic respect any more because they don't know how to because nobody has taught them.

HolidayArmadillo Sun 16-Mar-14 13:04:59

In nursing a band 6 is a junior sisters post. Basically managerial. Yes you can progress up to nearly 35k, but that's after 10 years.

And I'm more than a little insulted at the insinuation nursing and midwifery is a part time pin money job for thickos to fit in around the main earner. For most of us it's the main or only income and we generally have degrees these days.

Thumbwitch Sun 16-Mar-14 13:06:53

What many nurses consider to be the problem (and my MIL is one) is that nursing has lost its vocational status, through the apparent need for it to be degree-based.

NurseyWursey Sun 16-Mar-14 13:06:58

nearyourwindmill a nurse practioner is miles different from a nurse. They have to take an extra degree, some of them have masters degrees so before you keep copy and pasting look into it a bit more

And you can post the entry requirements from now until Kingdom come, nursing is competitive and they select the best from the applicants. As I sure you should know nursing isn't just about academia. We have to complete a degree (exams, assignments etc) whilst working a forty hour week at a placement. So please don't try and suggest we're all thick. I have 15 a-b GCSE's. 45 credits at distinction. NVQ in health and social. NVQ in business. Diploma in emergency care and I'm completing another one now. I could have done whatever job I wanted but I chose nursing because I care for people.

HolidayArmadillo Sun 16-Mar-14 13:09:05

A lot of nursing and midwifery cohorts are made up of mature students so a set criteria of 3 A's at A-Level is a fairly useless when it comes to judging their suitability to do the course. For midwifery at the institution I studied there were 28 places and 700 applicants, if you think against that kind of competition you can get on the course with not two brain cells to your name think again.

NurseyWursey Sun 16-Mar-14 13:09:35

thumbwitch yeah it does seem to worry a lot of people but it needs to be degree based in my opinion. There's so much knowledge we'd miss out on. Which is why there's a lot of anger at what the government is proposing, that HCA will be offered the opportunity to 'train on the job' and phasing the degree out. Cheaper for them.

NearTheWindymill Sun 16-Mar-14 13:10:07

Yes, but you don't exactly need the same grades as you do to read law at Oxford or Medicine at Imperial. You do, however, have a career structure ahead of you and the opportunity to work condensed hours if that suits you. Many many people in clerical roles who might also have degrees nowadays do not have the opportunity to climb a structure ladder as quickly. Many many people work in hard and arduous conditions and do essential roles and face the public.

Surely if nurses have degrees then a minimum expectation would be to become a junior sister.

NurseyWursey Sun 16-Mar-14 13:10:37

Midwifery in particular is highly competitive and you need to be the best of the best to get into that course. I know women who have tried 3-4 times

NurseyWursey Sun 16-Mar-14 13:11:30

Yes, but you don't exactly need the same grades as you do to read law at Oxford or Medicine at Imperial

So?

NearTheWindymill Sun 16-Mar-14 13:13:44

Well if midwives have more than two brain cells perhaps you would care to explain why mine couldn't record information correctly and in my case (auto-immune diseas) order the correct blood tests until it was too late, I had to insist on seeing a doctor and when I got the test I needed and had asked for three times and asked the midwife to repeat back to me what she was ordering, the readings had dropped and it was too late in the pregnancy to take the required drugs and I was more ill than I otherwise would have been for six weeks after the birth. I have had similar again and again.

NearTheWindymill Sun 16-Mar-14 13:15:04

So you aren't going to earn what someone who needs 4 A* and who might become a doctor, academic or a lawyer, is likely to and it is a reasonable assumption to understand that.

ElleBellyBeeblebrox Sun 16-Mar-14 13:16:53

I'm a nurse and have AAAB at A level, is that good enough for you?

JanineStHubbins Sun 16-Mar-14 13:17:49

Since when are nurses and NHS staff arguing for pay parity with doctors, academics or lawyers? (and HA! at your assumption that academics are well paid, by the way...)

ElleBellyBeeblebrox Sun 16-Mar-14 13:19:15

I don't want to earn big bucks, I never expected to going into nursing. What I want is the staffing levels to be at a safe and adequate level which would allow for me and my colleagues to do our jobs well.

Thumbwitch Sun 16-Mar-14 13:19:38

I think, Nursey, that it is right it should be degree based too now - but I also believe that some element of the vocational aspect should be retained (I'm not saying it isn't - just that some people might go into it without being really suited to it, because it's a degree they can do)

This is a bit of a controversial statement, but it's what MIL and some older nurses I knew in the UK do actually think - that some of the youngsters just starting having got their degrees feel that they shouldn't have to do the more menial tasks, because they have a degree. I doubt very much that these are in the majority - but there are some.

I do also worry sometimes that some people, who could be excellent nurses, are barred from it because of a lack of academic achievement.

We had the same problem in the labs, when that became degree-only entry. It was such shit pay, that they had real trouble attracting graduates into the profession (and yes IT IS A PROFESSION, thank you very much anyone who might think otherwise) - but then they revised the pay scales massively and basically dropped the bottom 4 or 5 levels off, so graduates started at a point I would only just have reached after 10 years in the profession on the previous pay grades!

We had several people join straight out of school, who were perfectly capable of doing the job, they just weren't suited to continuing academia, or needed to earn a wage. They went on to do degrees while working, as the culture was changing and degrees were becoming a requirement, so were clearly clever enough to do so.

HolidayArmadillo Sun 16-Mar-14 13:32:00

I only have 2 B's and 2 C's at A level. I do have a 2:1 in a different degree from a red brick uni though.

Thumbwitch Sun 16-Mar-14 13:33:29

That's still 14 points, isn't it, Holiday? Not exactly dismal!

NurseyWursey Sun 16-Mar-14 13:35:45

nearyourwidmill you're extremely offensive and judgemental and making yourself look more than a bit silly.

I wouldn't even bother explaining what's wrong with your statements.

thumbwitch I think that's why perhaps universities favour applicants who have had work experience in a care setting. Mine was invaluable, I learned basic care skills that are an integral part of delivering care.

Thumbwitch Sun 16-Mar-14 13:48:34

Sounds like they've got it sorted now then; my info is somewhat out of date, I have to admit, since it's been 15y+ since I worked in the NHS. smile

Piscivorus Sun 16-Mar-14 13:48:46

thumbwitch I think your MIL has a valid point. I am in my 50s and many of my friends of similar age think nursing standards have deteriorated since the degrees came in for exactly those reasons.

One friend was recently admitted to the ward she used to be senior sister on and had an appalling experience there, down to some younger nurse, which resulted in an official complaint

NurseyWursey Sun 16-Mar-14 14:01:18

I can think we can all pass the blame onto the older or newer generations (for example I think some of the older nurses are quite militant and institutional in their approach) but I think the root of it is there's good and bad nurses of all different ages. Whether that be because they came into the job for the wrong reasons, or whether they've become disillusioned with the whole system and their standards have slipped (no excuse by the way, just saying)

All nurses, all nurses, should be able to complete even the most basic care tasks. The thing with a degree trained nurse is they also have the knowledge underpinning the things that are being done. It's important we learn models of care, A&P, nursing theory, intervention, observation methods, health promotion and understanding who what when where, risk analysis, ethics... etc etc. Things you can't just learn on the job. Things we need to look into deeply to understand.

Nurses have come a long way since they were first around, we now have much deeper knowledge, more responsibility and autonomy. Our skill set has had to broaden and enhance, things primarily done by doctors are now done by us. As well as still having to do the tea trolley grin

Thumbwitch Sun 16-Mar-14 14:08:18

And that last paragraph demonstrates exactly why nurses (and midwives) should be paid properly for the job they do - they have taken on more of the doctors' responsibilities (as was) and this should be recognised in the pay they receive.

slightlyglitterstained Sun 16-Mar-14 14:08:27

Scrolled down to the end to say I'd support a limited strike (less than a day, rolling strike, or something) if that was feasible.

Then I find this silly argument about academic qualifications, as if that's the only possible indicator for pay. Er...clearly nearyourwindmill hasn't looked at MPs academic qualifications, or a rather well paid industry like IT. I have worked with plenty of people in IT who didn't have degrees but were extremely well paid.

To give an indication, one left school at 16 and at the time I knew him, had just taken a pay cut to go permie at somewhere around 70k. I think he'd recently turned 30.

What's different in IT? Well, there are more men for a start. They don't expect to be martyrs for the public good and nobody expects them to either. And for a lot of the very well paid stuff, their work relates closely to profitability, so you can fuck off to a better paid job elsewhere if you're not feeling the love, because it'll make sense for another company to make that investment in you. That doesn't quite work for a maternity ward, as doing better doesn't relate to better funding as we've heard.

slightlyglitterstained Sun 16-Mar-14 14:14:24

(And yes, yes, there are underpaid underappreciated people in IT too, but as an industry it's remarkably open to capable non-grads, with luck and a following wind of course - like with any industry it helps to know people and be of similar social group as well, it is never ever purely talent, there is always some luck and often some privilege too. But it's a good example of the folly of equating qualifications to money.)

demisemiquaver Sun 16-Mar-14 14:32:29

windy is clearly a snob and a fool.....are people's wages to be decided on their school-leaving qualifications?-as she appears to think- or on the extremely onerous responsibility of the work they actually do? her arguments show a lack of common sense , ironically greatly at odds with the importance she seems to place on academic ability and intelligence

NearTheWindymill Sun 16-Mar-14 15:20:07

Whether I'm a snob, a fool, or both, it doesn't alter the fact that the NHS is in a complete mess and that nursing on too many occasions is failing to provide the care it should. As I have said before look at any thread on here about women who have suffered terribly before, during and after birth and have borne not just a baby but the brunt of many an unkind comment. I dare you to look up a health visiting thread and come back and tell us that women are on the whole satisfied with the band 6 service they are receiving.

uselessidiot Sun 16-Mar-14 15:24:32

Windy your comments are highly offensive. I'm really sorry you've had a bad experience but the midwife you describe is not representative of all nurses and midwives.

I am still training but everyone in my class is a mature student, they all have degrees in other subjects and some even have post grad qualifications. From working with them I can confidently say they are all dedicated and caring. They would all support a patient in complaining about sub-standard care. They all dislike bad nurses giving us a bad name. However they also dislike being blamed for the actions of bad nurses and would not appreciate being accused of not having 2 brain cells to rub together simply based on the actions of another individual.

Of the bad nurses I've come across they're pretty evenly spread between the generations. They are also vastly outnumbered by the highly intelligent, very caring and dedicated ones.

MajorGrinch Sun 16-Mar-14 15:24:43

Striking over pay isn't going to get you a lot of sympathy when everyone else is in the same boat.

Strike over conditions, safety, training etc. if they are problems.

Striking over pay will just fuel the normal Public/Private debate and cloud the real issues which are many...

SuffolkNWhat Sun 16-Mar-14 15:28:07

For the last time UNIONS ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO STRIKE OVER PAY!

slightlyglitterstained Sun 16-Mar-14 15:40:45

Don't get windy's comments at all. She thinks the service isn't good enough - so we should drive more people out of the profession? How can the service get better when there aren't enough people there to do the job?

Personally think this is quite a deliberate part of Gov policy to undermine the NHS. The NHA party could do with our support, I don't think things will really get better until the current government are out:
nhap.org/

MajorGrinch Sun 16-Mar-14 15:56:06

For the last time UNIONS ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO STRIKE OVER PAY!

In that case, no - you shouldn't strike....

zeezeek Sun 16-Mar-14 17:29:19

IamRechargingthankYou your post is extraordinarily naïve and insulting.

As for the people who think that pay should be related to academic qualifications then bring it on - I've got straight A's at A-level (no A*'s in my day), a 1st from Oxford and a PhD also from Oxford and yet I'm paid about £100K less than the significantly less educated PM of this country grin

On a more serious note, all those people who continue to bash the NHS and the public sector, well, you will end up with the public sector that you deserve if you continue in this way.

It's also very easy to go on and on about wastage in the public sector. Yes, there is a lot of waste. I have spent the last 10 years of my career carrying out research into how the NHS can work more efficiently. But there is also wastage and downright dodgy dealing in the private sector. It's just that, unless we have something like the banking crisis, we don't tend to hear about it....remember the libor scandal? Hmm, that wasn't public sector was it!

Roseandmabelshouse Sun 16-Mar-14 19:13:14

Working in an office at 65 is not comparable to a mw or nurse working a 14 hour shift with no break ( not even a loo break) and having to be on her feet the entire time.

NurseyWursey Sun 16-Mar-14 20:48:03

Making all the beds on the wards does me. My back is agony most of the time! I seriously don't know how I'll be able to do it as I get older.

PennySillin Sun 16-Mar-14 21:18:21

Nursey Come join the dark side primary care! grin The money is shit but the work is a different kind of busy. I couldn't work on the wards now, it would break me. Much respect to those that do!

HolidayArmadillo Sun 16-Mar-14 21:26:05

No way could I deliver a baby at the age of 65+, or do night shift. Having said that we do have a full time midwife nearly 70 who still puts the graft in. Doesn't do shifts though.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 16-Mar-14 21:31:55

I'm pregnant and struggle to even reach my patients in their cots! And don't even mention not getting lunch til 4pm. Bloody starving by then.

Contemplates Sun 16-Mar-14 21:35:22

Yes I would.

Didn't nurses strike in Oz and within hours got a much fairer deal?

It seems the only reason nurses get a tough deal is because they are too nice to go on strike.

I think the Ozzy nurses felt that the danger to patient care was as bad if not worse from understaffing etc, and that compromising patient safety for a short while actually improved patient care from thereon, and is thought to have saved more lives than it endangered.

2old2beamum Sun 16-Mar-14 21:44:17

Having scan read posts and as a very old paediatric nurse/midwife working on a neonatal intensive care wards. Who do you think it was who taught the very naïve junior doctors to insert umbilical catheters, insert cannulas in minute veins and above all intubate collapsed babies. It certainly wasn't the paediatric consultants or registrars it was us lowly nurses

PlumProf Sun 16-Mar-14 21:52:53

zeezeek the thing is that we are not paying for the wastage and scandal in the private sector like we are in the public.

Where there is criminality (you mentioned LIBOR fixing) then of course it should be, and is, dealt with appropriately in both the private and the public sectors, but that is not really relevant to this debate.

MrChow Sun 16-Mar-14 21:56:23

I remember when I was about 17 weeks pregnant, I started my shift at 7:15am and looked after a high risk lady. I was in the room with her full on all morning, luckily she didn't mind me having a drink in the room (I asked) but I couldn't leave her for more than a minute or so as the trace was so poor. At 2pm I was on my knees, I'd not eaten since 6:30am my blood sugars were dropping and I came out of the room to see if someone could cover me for a quick break - ward was heaving and we were short staffed. It was 3:30pm before I ate, and 10pm when I got home to eat a meal. Short staffing meant I couldn't get my break, we can't afford to employ anymore midwives at present.

These are the conditions I work in sometimes, although I'm one of the lucky ones. I have friends in London with worse conditions. A measly pay rise would go a little way to making me feel a little appreciated.

I hate David Cameron and his party.

2old2beamum Sun 16-Mar-14 22:03:58

Well said MrChow I loathe Cameron and his arse lickers!!angry

zeezeek Sun 16-Mar-14 22:28:42

zeezeek the thing is that we are not paying for the wastage and scandal in the private sector like we are in the public.

BANKERS

Mimishimi Mon 17-Mar-14 06:03:06

I support and would encourage nurses quitting the profession for another. I do not think strikes will get them anywhere unfortunately. The only way qualified staff will get better pay and conditions is if there are less of them to call upon.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 22-Mar-14 18:25:13

I hope the rcm and rcn do call a strike. I for one would strike.

Musicaltheatremum Sat 22-Mar-14 19:43:43

I have been in the NHS since 1986. I was one of the junior doctors working 120 hour weeks and paid less than the cleaner overnight. But I was in control, I knew all my patients, I could talk to relatives and answer their questions. The nursing staff all knew me, we had few bank staff and the Charge nurse knew everyone. Now the junior doctors work fewer hours (allegedly) the nurses are so busy they don't know the patients well and because they don't know the doctors on the "team"as well they end up calling the doctors more often (when I was working I always went to the wards at about 10.30pm so if there was anything non urgent they would keep it until then.
Also they employ "bank staff" too often instead of filling posts so there is no continuity.
And we all have to deal with new initiatives to improve patient care. Give us the staff and go back to basics and both doctors and nurses can get back to what they want to do and that is care for people.

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