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10/09/2017 - Nurses protest outside Parliament

big-ben-2200706 1920Last Wednesday Theresa May faced her first prime minister’s question time after the Parliamentary summer break.

 

Outside hundreds of nurses and their supporters from across Britain joined the Royal College of Nursing’s (RCN) protest against the 1 percent public sector pay cap.

 

Nurses have suffered a 14 percent “real terms” pay cut since 2010 when the Tories got into office.

 

In a pay consultation in May some 76 percent of RCN members said they would be willing to take industrial action.

 

At the rally RCN council member Michael Brown warned the Tories that they could face action.

 

“If we hear nothing by the time of the budget, I am ready to take the next step and ballot for industrial action,” he said. “That’s not a threat. It's a reality."

 

He added, “I know many of yt a threat, it’s a reality.”ou feel the time has come - we will not back away from this.”

 

The RCN leadership have not said what form this industrial action would take.

 

In a classic divide and rule tactic senior Tories have hinted that the pay cap could be lifted - at least for some workers.

 

But Janet Davies, RCN chief executive, said, “We have heard many thing in the health service, we’ll believe it when we see it. Our message is, ‘Scrap the cap’.”