Why UK governments must stop using the NHS as a political football to gain populist momentum and owe health and social care staff a restorative pay rise.

Speaking at the NHS Workers United for Scotland rally, July 23rd, 2022.

The NHS Workers United for Scotland rally on July 23rd, 2022, called to reject all UK governments’ proposed pay deal for NHS ‘Agenda for Change’ workers.

We demand a restorative pay rise to protect patient safety by enabling us to retain and recruit more health and social care staff. And to recognise the graduate status of our professions.

Also, to remunerate us for the years of mismanagement of health service financing, which has left so many people much worse off.

In this video, I share my nursing story:

I discuss how I grew up with nursing in my blood, as my mother is a nurse, and how her terms and conditions have worsened, not improved since the 1990s. And how despite being retired, she needs to continue to work as a nurse in the bank to pay off her mortgage.

I then talk about my journey into nursing as a mature student, about how despite being a high-achieving nursing student, I almost left the profession in December 2020 due to the pressure and vicarious trauma of becoming a new registrant as the Covid-19 pandemic broke.

I now love my job working with newly arrived asylum-seekers and refugees. I discuss how the last thing I would want to do is go on strike and abandon them. But the UK government are using the kindness of nursing and social care staff to hold us over a barrel.

Government leaders and ministers must stop using the NHS as a political football to gain populist momentum.

Instead, they must adequately fund the NHS and stop trying to dismantle one of the proudest UK institutions. The public owns the NHS; it serves the public. The UK governments are its custodian.

It is beyond the time they were better caretakers of it. Enough is enough.

I encourage everyone working in health and social care to join a union and vote to reject this pitiful offer.

Representatives from the Royal College of Nursing, GMB, Unison, Unite come together as NHS Workers United for Scotland, supported by the RMT.
With former RCN Trade Union Committee Chair and Scottish Representative, Graham Revie.
Addressing the rally.

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