Amid the splendour of Westminster, standing in Parliament Square, members of the RCN from the four UK countries joined as one voice on Wednesday 6 September 2017 with very clear messages for the government; scrap the 1% pay cap and fund our health service properly. Nurses have had enough.
We listened to speeches from nurses that tore at the heart, including a fantastic address from Fiona Devlin, our RCN Northern Ireland Board Chair. Her speech was heard by MPs from the DUP and Sinn Féin. It was heartening to see MPs from both parties keep their promises and join RCN members in Parliament Square, reiterating their commitment to raise the issues of pay and nurse staffing with the government. Political influencing works!
For someone who has never joined in any protest or attended a rally, this was an amazing experience. On the one hand, it is so sad that RCN members are having to take the message to the government that the health service is falling apart and that the nurses who are the backbone of the health service have had enough. However, the great pride we have in ourselves as nurses and in our profession shone as we made our message heard, loud and proud.
Many thanks to all the RCN members from Northern Ireland who attended the rally. You were magnificent!