According to a recent poll, more than seven out of ten respondents believe that nurses can strike in order to demand more pay and improved patient care.
According to the Ipsos survey conducted for the PA news agency, 74% of British citizens agreed that nurses may strike to improve patient care, and 71% agreed that they could take industrial action to demand pay increases.
Only 13% of those surveyed thought it was undesirable for nurses to walk out in favor of higher standards of care, while 16% said the same about salary raises.
One in ten people had no opinion.
However, a survey of 1,083 adults indicated that 47% believed the salary increase nursing unions are requesting was excessive, compared to 38% who thought it was about right and 9% who said it was too low.
Compared to those aged 55 and above, younger people were more likely to say the figure was about right.
According to the Ipsos poll, older people and Conservative voters are more inclined to believe that the pay increase the RCN is requesting is excessive—57% of those aged 55 to 75 and 64% of Tory voters agree.
In contrast, 37% of Labour voters and 38% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 felt that the union’s pay proposals were unreasonable. Nearly half of Labour voters believed the pay demands were reasonable.
The Royal College of Nurse (RCN) reported last week that nursing staff at the majority of NHS employers in the UK had chosen to pursue strike action over wages and patient safety. The new statistics follow that announcement.
Overall, 59% of those polled said they strongly supported or tended to support the nurses’ planned strikes, compared to 14% who were neither in favor of nor against them and 24% who were against them.
Younger persons showed the most support for strikes, with 67% of those between the ages of 18 and 34 widely supporting them. Support declined with age, reaching 49% of those between the ages of 55 and 75.
According to the research, 75% of respondents who supported the nurse strikes strongly or frequently voted for Labour in the 2019 election, as opposed to 45% of Conservative voters.
The RCN is requesting a wage increase of 5% above inflation, claiming that experienced nurses were 20% worse off after a pay increase earlier this year as a result of a string of below-inflation awards since 2010.
It has threatened to announce strike dates for December unless “deep negotiations” on salary are held within the next five days.
“The public can see that nurses are the voice of patients in this conflict,” RCN CEO Pat Cullen stated. Safe and high-quality patient care depends on nursing personnel receiving decent treatment, including fair compensation and safe working circumstances.
“The Health Secretary has until next week to begin formally and thoroughly discussing wages and patient safety; if not, we will publish the dates and places of our first strike in December.
“Nursing has had it with living on a financial precipice at home and getting a terrible deal at work. They won’t remain silent when staff shortages and low pay put the health of their patients in danger.
Politicians around the nation have the authority to halt strike activity, but their window of opportunity is rapidly closing.
Over 300,000 Unison members are now voting on taking industrial action; the polls are closing on November 25.
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay stated: “We have given the NHS priority in the autumn statement with an additional £6.6 billion over the next two years and a commitment to publish a comprehensive workforce strategy next year with independently verified forecasts. We are all incredibly appreciative of the hard work and dedication of healthcare professionals, including nurses.
We are really sorry that some union members decided to support industrial action.
Because of the difficult times, we fully accepted the independent NHS Wage Review Body’s recommendations and gave over a million NHS employees a pay increase of at least £1,400 this year.
“This comes on top of a 3% salary boost that was given last year under a pay freeze for the public sector and broader government assistance with the expense of living.
“Keeping patients safe during any strikes is our top responsibility. The NHS has tried-and-true plans in place to minimize disruption and guarantee the continuation of emergency services.
“Trust leaders have been preparing for industrial action and are focused on protecting patient safety during strikes as well as the wellbeing of all their workers,” said Miriam Deakin, director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers.
“Trust leaders do comprehend why many nurses choose to participate in a walkout. This polling demonstrates that the public shares this understanding: “Severe personnel shortages, ever-increasing workloads, and below-inflation pay awards despite growing cost of living have all taken their toll. We firmly advise both sides in these negotiations to come to an understanding and avert protracted industrial action.