From a clap to a slap

Stephen Ridley
Stephen Ridley

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has condemned today’s decision by the courts to shorten the nursing strike by one day as the ‘darkest day in the long-running pay dispute. 

Adding insult, the government also asked the RCN to pay its legal costs of £47,885, which was subsequently reduced to £35,000. 

From revering our nurses in the first global pandemic of our generation with weekly claps, this blow feels more like a slap. 

While we are seeing some of the worst strike action in the country since the 70s, this drastic approach by nurses ultimately boils down to a simple expectation of a better pay deal. 

The nation may be split with their views on this action but is it wrong to assume that the people who look after us should be able to look after their own family? 

Nurses are facing below-inflation pay rises yet the same soaring cost of living as the rest of the workforce and something has to give. 

The strike action planned for the 1st May bank holiday weekend was on the back of rejecting the governments pay offer – a 6% one-off payment for 2022-23 and a 5% pay rise for 2023-24.

The question is, with the vote to reject the government’s pay deal only at 54%, and with the courts taking legal action to restrict nurses strike action, will the chances of further walkouts by nurses dwindle? 

And if this is the case, and with the Royal College of Midwives accepting this offer, will other NHS workers then move to do the same? 

Everyone trusts a nurse

No related news, the most recent Ipsos Veracity Index, the longest running poll on trust in professions in Britain, revealed that nurses top the table of professions we Britons trust the most, in 2022.

Probably unsurprising to readers is that the biggest drop in trust, is in politicians, which has fallen to levels last seen during the 2009 expenses crisis. 

Ongoing disputes 

Regardless of your views, the ongoing disputes continue to demonstrate the tension between public sector employees, trade unions, and the government over issues such as pay, pensions, working conditions, and public spending.

Steve Ridley
Business Director – Arch Resourcing


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