Why Nurses Are Saying Enough is Enough


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It feels like I’m working every day just to survive. I’m really scared about the future. If things get any worse and prices go up further, I don’t know how I’ll be able to live.’

These are the words of Mary, a 45-year-old nurse from North London. Hers is the kind of response I’ve become accustomed to when I ask nurses about the cost of living crisis, and one that encapsulates just how tough things have become—not only for nurses but for workers across every sector, as the crisis continues to bite.

The fight for survival, as Mary describes it, has become more pronounced in the past year or so. But it’s been a problem for far longer, with NHS staff bearing the brunt of their sector being under-resourced and neglected for years. Between 2011 and 2021, NHS nurses’ average basic earnings fell by five percent in real terms, and excessive workloads have become a chronic issue. Now, with further real terms pay cuts on the cards, many have reached their breaking point.

‘I feel angry,’ says Mary. ‘NHS workers like me were classed as essential during the pandemic. Politicians applauded us and sang our praises, but when it comes to a pay rise, they change their tune quicker than anything.’


https://images.jacobinmag.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2022/10/03145251/GettyImages-1225771354-1.jpgBetween 2011 and 2021, NHS nurses’ average basic earnings fell by five percent in real terms, and excessive workloads have become a chronic issue. (Getty Images)



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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chrdario
    Jan 03, 2023 @ 22:22:14

    This is terrible! Unfortunately many sectors are uderpaid. Many important sectors. Nurses are definitely one of them. They are working such a valuable job for society and they are not getting the praise and money that they should be getting



    • Mohenjo
      Jan 04, 2023 @ 18:10:50

      Some of the absolute nicest and most considerate people I have met in life are the nurses who took care of me during my hospital stays. The thought that they are underpaid is a crime!

      Liked by 1 person


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