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Thinking Nurse

This blog will reflect my interests in learning disabilities, nursing, nursing theory, philosophy and politics and my general interests in the arts and literature. (Nursing is an art as well as a science!) Philosophy and nursing have been intrinsically linked since the days of Socrates, his mother was a midwife, and taught him everything he knew!

Friday, February 18, 2005

NHS Pension Robbery

I was standing in the cold and rain outside a hospital today, with about 50 other UNISON members, to protest about the government and management plans to change our pension rights.

Basically there are two threats - one is to raise the retirement age for all NHS workers to 65 - this seems madness - are they expecting 64 year olds to staff orthopaedic wards? The consequence of such a policy will simply be to raise the number of nurses and other staff 'on the sick', as backs and morale give way.

The other is to get rid of the final salary pension scheme, and bring one in based on career average salary. If this is such a great option, why havent MPs and top managers chosen it?

Now is a good time for public sector workers to be protesting about these things, showing Tony Blair for what he is, as there is a general election on the way.

The other thing that really annoys me, is the way our union, UNISON, is funding the Labour Party, despite all the attacks the Labour Party carries out on public services - PFI, Foundation Hospitals, and now this dipping in to our pensions. We are literally 'feeding the hand that bites us' as Roger Bannister put it.

It's time for our unions to stop giving money to Mr Blair and the Labour Party to help them attack our public services, and our public service workers, and instead start to use it for campaigns to defend the membership and the services we deliver.


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