Nurses have the right to strike over local pay bargaining

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The Independent Online
From Mr R. L. Rothwell Jackson

Sir: I feel that I must write in support of the Royal College of Nursing's decision to ballot on changing their rule on taking industrial action.

Whenever governments try to impose unacceptable pay and conditions on people employed in public services, they engage in the moral blackmail of "you can't take industrial action because this will harm the public". I am surprised that your leading article (17 May) should support this negative attitude.

Both medical and nursing staff in the NHS have objected to local pay deals and given sound reasons for doing so. "Responsibility" is a two- way partnership and this Government has shown little inclination to listen. I have never known workers in the health service (at all levels) to be so fed up and demoralised. At last the worm has turned, and about time too!

Yours faithfully,




The writer is a retired consultant surgeon.