This morning I've been on strike as part of Unison's industrial action. I visited picketing nurses in
East Kent in my role as parliamentary candidate for Canterbury before joining my own picket line in Dartford.
Pay for staff in the NHS has fallen in real terms every year for the past 5 years and with a 0% rise for the majority of staff (and a 1% lump sum for those at the top of pay bands), pay is set to fall in real terms yet again.
If everyone was in the same position it would be more palatable, but MPs are getting 10%. Not only that, wealth continues to be concentrated towards the rich by our Lib Dem / Tory government. Worse still was hearing that Lib Dem peer complaining that they can't survive on £300 per day (tax free) while junior registered nurses get around £68 per day after tax and nursing assistants start on £49 per day.
A senior ward sister takes home £117 per day after tax and I guess would love to have a 200% pay rise to bring it in line with Lib Dem Baroness Olly Grender.
Yesterday's poll by Survation showed overwhelming support for the action; the public are behind us.
I'm proud to show solidarity with my colleagues and fellow union members.