‘Summer of protest’ is launched in Blackpool

Maggy Heaton kicks off the campaign in Blackpool on Tuesday
Maggy Heaton kicks off the campaign in Blackpool on Tuesday
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A nursing union kicked off its ‘summer of protest’ in Blackpool – and said it is giving the government ‘a final chance’ to remove the one per cent cap on public sector pay rises.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says pay freezes and the cap have left NHS nursing staff ‘at least £3,000-a-year worse off’ since 2010.

It is essential nurses throw their weight behind this campaign

Local representative Claire Fisher said: “It was important I came to show my support as the pay cap devalues nurses and nursing.

“It means people are put off from joining the profession and many are leaving.”

Lancashire West branch chairwoman Maggy Heaton said: “It is essential nurses throw their weight behind this campaign. The summer of protest is not industrial action, nor are we encouraging members to vote for industrial action.

“What we are doing is bringing the issue of poor pay and low staffing to the attention of the public and our employers.”

Ms Fisher added: “Because there are not enough nurses, patients cannot get the care they need. Increasing registered nurse vacancies mean understaffed wards and overstretched staff.”

In March, 80 Filipino nurses were signed up to work at Blackpool Victoria Hospital following a recruitment drive in the Philippines.

Last year, The Gazette revealed how medics were being asked to work extra hours as health bosses scoured the globe looking to fill hundreds of job posts – and remained concerned about vacancies.