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Public ad campaign demands change from new PM as RCN prepares to launch strike ballot

Strike Hub

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7 Sep 2022

Our nationwide public advertising campaign coincides with Liz Truss’s first full day in office.

Liz Truss

RCN pay campaign adverts will be targeted around Westminster today (7 September) as Liz Truss faces her first Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons. 

It comes as we prepare to launch our biggest ever strike ballot of nursing staff working for the NHS and HSC next Thursday (15 September). 

We’re urging eligible members to vote “yes” to strike action as part of our ongoing fight for fair nursing pay and safe staffing. 

Adverts displayed in London Underground stations and on billboards pose questions from nursing staff to the new Prime Minister.

One reminds Truss of her campaign admission that “hospitals are falling apart” and highlights last week’s new record of 47,000 unfilled nurse posts in England before asking: “What’s your plan?”

A second addresses the high levels of patient demand on health and care services and refers explicitly to next week’s ballot, asking the new PM to demonstrate she is listening.

In the rest of the UK, a thousand bus stops will display separate adverts focusing on the impact of unfair NHS pay on nursing staff.

One says: “A cost of living crisis and a decade of pay cuts has pushed nursing staff to use foodbanks and even sleep in their cars. We demand change.”

Another draws on research on patient mortality and staffing levels in hospitals, arguing: “Fact: when there aren’t enough nurses, the risk of death increases. Back a pay rise for patient safety.”

RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen said: “From her first moment at the Despatch Box, the new Prime Minister can demonstrate she is listening to the concerns of nursing staff.

“The toughest questions facing Liz Truss will come from our members and millions of health and care workers like them. They are struggling – at home and work – like never before. And deserve serious answers, not brushing aside.

“MPs travelling to Westminster today will know what nursing staff expect them to ask.

“In just under a week, we will post strike ballot papers to 300,000 nursing staff across the UK. After many years of underinvestment, and in the face of a nursing workforce crisis that is undermining safe care and causing incredible financial hardship, nursing professionals are standing up for patients and themselves.

“Until the new Prime Minister puts forward a fair and adequate proposal, I will continue asking nursing staff to take strike action."

Page last updated - 11/02/2023