The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) asks for a salary increase of five percent above inflation, but the Government insists that the cost would be unaffordable.
Drivers of cars, buses and trucks could be heard honking their horns in support as they passed the hospital.
Helen Peacock, a 30-year-old Bradford-based nurse and representative of the RCNspoke to the Telegraph & Argus.
— Telegraph and Argus (@Bradford_TandA) December 15, 2022
Talking about why the nurses voted to StrikeMs Peacock said: “We are not happy that the government has not given us a proper pay increase. We are doing this for patients to secure the future of the NHS and to try to retain the nurses we have in the NHS so that we can give patients the excellent care they deserve.
“What is important to me about the strike today is to secure the future of the National Health Service. We have newly qualified young nurses who take on a lot of responsibility, they find it difficult to retain these nurses with the salaries they receive.
“They do very technical, very responsible work, we are taking care of human beings, there is no margin for error. We take on the job because we care about the patients and it is very important that we are able to provide them with the right care.
“We want to secure the future of the NHS, retain the nurses we have, particularly the younger nurses who have just entered the profession, and look after them while they are young and still learning how to do the job properly. We want to make sure they have a long and successful career.”
Christine Kelly, who has been a nurse for over 30 years, said: “I am here today to support my colleagues, it is very much about staff, conditions and changes within the NHS. As nurses, we haven’t asked for much over the years. We have endured a lot, we have endured wage cuts. We really just want the government to listen to what the people are saying.”
One ICU nurse, who has worked at the BRI for 30 years, said: “It means to me that I have been put in a position that I never thought we would be in. I have to give up a day’s salary and potentially many days of salary to have decent working conditions for NHS staff and to be able to provide a service for the future.”
The nurse said that her niece, daughter-in-law, and sister-in-law are all nursing students.
“I want them to be paid enough so that they can afford a car, a house, take care of people,” he said.
“I am disappointed that it has come to the point that I have to leave.
“We prefer a short-term loss to a long-term gain that we have adequate service for the public and the needs of their staff.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Our nurses are incredibly dedicated to their work and it is deeply regrettable that some union members are going ahead with the strike.
“My number one priority is keeping patients safe. I have been working across government and with doctors outside of the public sector to ensure safe staffing levels, but remain concerned about the risk strikes pose to patients.
“However, the NHS is open and patients should continue to seek urgent medical care and keep appointments, unless they have been contacted by the NHS.
“These are difficult times, but we have accepted the recommendations of the independent NHS pay review body in full to give nurses a pay increase of at least £1,400, on top of a three per cent pay increase last year when the wages of the broader public sector were frozen. .
“More wage increases would mean taking money away from front-line services at a time when we are tackling record wait lists as a result of the pandemic.”
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTHFT) said hospitals will prioritize emergency care during the strike today and Tuesday 20 December.
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