UNITED KINGDOM: British nurses are planning an unprecedented strike over low pay. Chukwudubem Ifeajuna, a nurse based in the south of England, loves his job but is compelled to walk out from his workplace next week when he joins other British nurses in a strike against the existing medical system over inadequate pay.
The upcoming demonstration is one of the biggest ever strike action, which is inevitable for staff and patient welfare alike. The state-run National Health Service (NHS) is enduring one of its worst winters ever as a result of the nurses’ strike, which is unprecedented in the 106-year history of the British nursing union.
Ifeajuna is one of the unfortunate workers who has witnessed his colleague walk out of the medical service and end up toiling in supermarkets for less stress and better pay, while the irony is, he had to reduce spending to put food on the table.
“A couple of my employees currently use food banks. Due to the high expense of living, I’ve had to cut back on a lot of things for the kids that I might otherwise afford to do for them. Therefore, it’s quite difficult for everyone, not just me,” he informed the media.
The main purpose of the strike, is to bring attention to the inadequate and appalling pay of members working in the medical field. “We are on strike because we should be paid more. For ten years, we have not received a decent salary,” he added.
Strike action and demonstrations are also riling up Britain’s rail, postal and education sectors as workers are acting out against low wages in the midst of soaring inflation and sky-high energy prices during the harsh winter.
According to Patricia Marquis, director of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) union in England, the government needs to pay attention to the aspirations of the working-class population because they fuel the nation’s economic engine.
She informed the officials of the media, “Nurses don’t just do this at the drop of a hat.”
A health think-tanks Nuffield’s Billy Palmer said, “Those who frequently quit their jobs often cite challenges surrounding not having enough people to perform a good job, unaware that their departure subsequently degrades the standard of work and exacerbates staffing problems.”
Ifeajuna added, “It’s the most vicious of cycles.” He admitted that he has often thought about quitting but never got around to it.
“Every time I’ve had the opportunity, I’ve kind of had to halt for a second and say, I can’t leave my patients. I can’t let my coworkers suffer in silence,” he said.