Patients Overwhelmingly Back Striking NHS Key Workers – New Poll

A nurse poses with her placard during a strike by members of the Royal College of Nursing Union on January 19, 2023.
A nurse poses with her placard during a strike by members of the Royal College of Nursing Union on January 19, 2023.

A nurse poses with her placard during a strike by members of the Royal College of Nursing Union on January 19, 2023.

Patients suffering with health conditions overwhelmingly back striking NHS workers, a fresh poll has found.

A survey conducted by YouGov found that three in five patients back striking health workers.

They also found that a majority of parents support teachers taking strike action.

Polling On 16-19 December 2022 found:

It comes amid a raft of strike action up and down the UK including nurses, ambulance workers, paramedics and physiotherapists.

On top of this a number of other sectors have been striking or are planning to take industrial action.

The Trades Union Congress [TUC], which represents the majority of trade unions, commissioned the polling.

They said the results show that patients and parents see through government’s “divide and rule tactics”.

Striking ambulance worker holds a placard expressing his opinion in Westminster.
Striking ambulance worker holds a placard expressing his opinion in Westminster.

Striking ambulance worker holds a placard expressing his opinion in Westminster.

The TUC says nurses have lost £42,000 in real earnings since 2008 – the equivalent of £3,000 a year.

Meanwhile, midwives have lost £56,000, the equivalent to £4,000 a year, and paramedics have lost £56,000, equivalent to £4,000 a year.

In the education sector, teachers and school leaders have lost around a quarter of their pay in real terms since 2010 according to separate analysis by unions.

Previous polling published in October revealed that one in three public sector workers were actively considering quitting or had taken steps to do so.

People take part in a protest march organised by Doctors Association UK, NHS Workers Say No! and NHS Staff Voices.
People take part in a protest march organised by Doctors Association UK, NHS Workers Say No! and NHS Staff Voices.

People take part in a protest march organised by Doctors Association UK, NHS Workers Say No! and NHS Staff Voices.

TUC general secretary Paul Nowaksaid: “Key workers in the public sector helped get the country through the pandemic.

“But many are now being forced to take action to defend their living standards as ministers continue to refuse meaningful talks with unions on public sector pay.

“This polling shows that patients and parents see right through the divide and rule tactics of this Conservative government.

“These are people that really rely on our public services – they know all too well the damage done by year on year pay cuts.

“They are fed up with ministers stonewalling negotiations – and they think that workers across the public sector are owed a decent pay rise.”

HuffPost UK contacted the department of health for comment.

Health secretary Steve Barclay said yesterday: “Patients will understandably be worried by the prospect of further strike action by nurses - the previous two days of nurse strikes saw around 30,000 elective procedures and outpatient appointments cancelled. It is inevitable industrial action will have an impact on patients.

“I have had constructive talks with the Royal College of Nursing and other unions about the 2023/24 pay process and look forward to continuing that dialogue.”

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