‘Enough is enough’: nurses protest against pay cap outside Westminster

Nurses have expressed their anger over the public sector pay cap in a protest outside parliament, warning the government they are prepared to take industrial action.

Around 2,000 nurses from all over the country congregated in Westminster on Wednesday at a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) protest against the policy that has led to a 14% real-terms cut in the wages of staff in England over the past seven years.

Speakers took turns to share stories of how the squeeze had left them and their colleagues living hand to mouth.

The RCN president, Cecilia Anim, told the rally in Parliament Square that she had a message “to the people next door”.

She said: “For far too long our hard work, our skill, our dedication has been taken for granted by this government … for too long the lives of our friends and colleagues have been blighted. And why? Because our pay has been cut.”

Nurses in the crowd, from those just starting out on their careers to others with more experience, told how they were struggling to cope at work because of staff shortages, and at home because of the pay restraint.

Full story in The Guardian, 6 September 2017