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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?

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.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 22-Mar-14 18:25:13

I hope the rcm and rcn do call a strike. I for one would strike.

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.

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.


2old2beamum Sun 16-Mar-14 22:03:58

Well said MrChow I loathe Cameron and his arse lickers!!angry

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

MajorGrinch Sun 16-Mar-14 15:56:06


In that case, no - you shouldn't strike....

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:

SuffolkNWhat Sun 16-Mar-14 15:28:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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...

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.

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.

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

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.)

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.

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.

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