Striking staff protest outside Milton Keynes Hospital

Bedford Hospital protest
Bedford Hospital protest
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NHS staff protested outside the hospital today as part of an ongoing row with the government over pay.

Members of the UNISON and The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) trade unions protested until 11am, while staff are also working to rule this week after the government refused workers a one per cent pay rise which had been recommended by an independent pay review board.

Olivia Albaradura, midwife team leader and a member of the RCM, said it was the first time that members of her union had gone on strike,

She said: “We are being hit both ways. We have been refused a one per cent pay rise, which the government initially indicated they would agree to, and our registration fees with the National Midwifery Council have been put up by 25 per cent - two years after they went up by 35 per cent.

“Everybody at the hospital goes above and beyond their hours, throughout the hospital, without extra pay, because we care.

“This week staff will be working to rule, which includes actually taking our lunch breaks and rest breaks.

“The hospital have supported our right to strike, and the public have supported us today too.”

Andrew Pakes, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Milton Keynes South, said: “It is deeply saddening that nurses and NHS staff feel that they have been forced into action by a government that simply will not listen to their legitimate concerns. I have met some amazing NHS staff across Milton Keynes all of whom want to serve the public and help improve the health of the city.

“The government needs to get a grip on the funding challenges facing the NHS, whether it is investing in a new A&E in Milton Keynes or working with staff, to provide the health services we need as a growing city. When midwives are striking for the first time in 133 years, you know that something is not right with this government’s approach.”