NHS workers renew action after rejecting miserly pay offer

Across Leeds, nurses and ambulance workers were both taking part in strike action on International Workers Day, following their rejection of the government’s well before invitation 5% pay offer.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

Turnout on the RCN picket line at St James’s Hospital was much higher than during the last round of strike action. As the picket line supervisor kept saying, “everytime I look there’s more of us”.

Many nurses reported feeling like the 5% pay offer must be rejected, not only for how low it was in relation to inflation or restoring the decade of lost pay, but also as it reflected a total failure to address the issues of safe staffing and nurse retention.

There was excitement as they talked about Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) workers in Unite also being on strike, and enthusiasm for co-ordinating future action with the junior doctors should the RCN win their reballot.

At the YAS picket line in Bramley, we were told that Unite were struggling to process all the new members signing up to join after they rushed the government’s last offer. RCN members reported more signups on the back of this action.

Unite Yorkshire Ambulance Service pickets and supporters at Bramley depot – photo Iain Dalton

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