In United Kingdom, exhaustion and anger of health personnel

Faced with underinvestment in public, nurses and paramedics are ready for a hard and prolonged social conflict, while the curator of Rishi Sunak continues to make a deaf ear.

by Cécile Ducourieux (London, correspondent)

First disengagement in thirty years for English and Welsh paramedics this Wednesday, December 21, historic strike of English nurses the day before, Scottish nurses ready to strike in their turn in early 2023, without counting beginner doctors, always consulted for stops work after the holidays…

Exhausted by the pandemic and years of underinvestment in public hospitals, British health personnel are claiming substantial wage increases and are ready for a hard and prolonged social conflict. Faced with this unprecedented mobilization of employees usually not very demanding, the curator government of Rishi Sunak continues to make the ear.

Tuesday December 20, London Bridge, south side of the Thames. At the foot of St Thomas’ Hospital, one of the largest health establishments in London, a hundred nurses, members of the Principal Syndicate of the Profession, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), hold a stake of strike very lively. This is the first time that the RCN has called for strike in one hundred and six years of existence. Unknowns stop to initiate the discussion. Solidarity, the upstairs buses and taxis hobbler.

“I like my job, but it is more and more difficult. I worked during the pandemic, I was assigned to a COVVI department, in intensive care, but it was exhausting,” says Jack, 30 years old, main nurse for a year in St Thomas – most strikers refuse to give their surname. “During the confinements, the members of the government celebrated, they showed an incredible lack of respect for us. And now, they tell us that they cannot increase us?”, Strangles the young man, Alluding to “partygate”, the holiday scandal organized at Downing Street during the period of restrictions linked to the pandemic of COVID-19.

The RCN union calls for an increase in wages by 19 %, to compensate for inflation to more than 10 % and a decade of wage stagnation. The government does not want to hear about it and take refuge behind the conclusions of the Pay Review Body, an advisory body having advised an increase of approximately 4 % for the health personnel of the public hospital (the National Health Service – NHS) in last July.

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/Media reports cited above.