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RCN members stage protest at Conservative party conference

3 Oct 2022

Nursing staff chanted demands for fair pay and safe staffing amidst chronic workforce crisis.

RCN Members protest at Tory party conference 2022

Members demonstrated outside the Conservative party conference today (3 October), waving placards and letting politicians know what needs to change to protect the future of nursing.

The protest was the second in a series being held across the UK, with the first taking place at the Labour party conference in Liverpool last week, and upcoming demos planned at the Scottish National Party conference in Aberdeen and Plaid Cymru conference in Llandudno.

It comes just days before we open our biggest ever strike ballot over NHS pay this Thursday (6 October). We’re campaigning for a pay rise of 5% above inflation to overcome a decade of real-terms pay cuts, support nursing staff through the cost-of-living crisis and recognise their lifesaving skills.

So far, all pay awards and offers have fallen far short of that. That’s why we’re encouraging eligible members to vote “yes” to strike action when the ballot opens.

The protest was held in Birmingham’s Centenary Square, where RCN members gathered in support of the cause. Patricia Marquis, RCN Director for England, was there.

“It’s brilliant to see such a turnout, it demonstrates how our members are feeling,” said Patricia. “We need change, and we need change today. People are leaving the profession because they can’t afford to work anymore. 

“The government needs to listen. Nursing is a valuable profession for this country, and we need to pay staff properly. 

"From what we’ve seen here today, members are clearly saying enough is enough.” 

Sarah Percival-Clarke, a member from Birmingham East and North Solihull Branch, was also present at the demonstration.  

“We came here today because we deserve fair pay,” said Sarah. “We want to be able to care for our patients. Staffing levels are bad at the moment, the pay is not enough, and nursing staff are being forced to use food banks because of the cost-of-living crisis. We deserve better than that.” 


Page last updated - 09/04/2023