Nurses pay: Jaw-dropping, level of hypocrisy being displayed by the Labour leadership in Scotland

Columnar Oak tree reacts to Sarwar’s comments on the NHS

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I see the BBC News website now has an article in its Scotland section entitled: ‘Scottish government to ‘impose’ pay deal on nurses’. Notably, amongst expressions of outrage from the RCM’s leadership, it also includes this: ‘Wilma Brown from Unison, who, along with Unite had accepted the last offer, told BBC Scotland the implementation of the pay deal was “FULLY AND GRATEFULLY RECEIVED” and was overdue.’ (my emphasis)

But the article also includes this: ‘SCOTTISH LABOUR CALLED ON MR YOUSAF TO RESIGN. Health spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: “I asked Humza Yousaf yesterday whether he would refrain from imposing a pay settlement on the NHS and he failed to answer. “We now know why. It is clear that his plan was to impose this rejected pay deal all along.”

On 23 December 2022, Unison Wales sent an open letter to the Labour FM in Wales: ‘WE ARE NOW CALLING ON YOU AND YOUR GOVERNMENT TO FOLLOW YOUR COUNTERPARTS IN SCOTLAND AND USE DEVOLVED POWERS TO PROVIDE A MEANINGFUL SOLUTION to the issue of low pay in the health service which is having devastating consequences for an already exhausted workforce.

‘UNISON has had formal and informal meetings with health minister Eluned Morgan with ABSOLUTELY NO MOVEMENT ON PAY and this is what needs urgent action if we are to avoid an escalation of industrial action across the Welsh health service in the new year.’

And from Unite on 12 December 2022 – ‘SCOTLAND NHS DEAL SHOWS ENGLAND STRIKES CAN BE AVOIDED IF MINISTERS JOIN TALKS’

‘Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The deal in Scotland shows that Unite’s members are clearly prepared to negotiate on pay. The only thing standing in the way of this happening is THE INTRANSIGENCE OF THE WESTMINSTER GOVERNMENT TO JOIN PAY NEGOTIATIONS AND OFFER A BETTER DEAL.

“If the position remains the same, ministers must explain why NHS workers in England don’t deserve the same pay increase as their colleagues in Scotland.”

And again from Unite, on 22 December 2022 – ‘Welsh Ambulance Service workers vote for strike action to save NHS’

‘Around 1,000 Welsh Ambulance Service workers will stage industrial action, their union, Unite, announced today (Thursday). The workers, including paramedics, EMTs and emergency call handling staff, voted by 88 per cent to strike. Unite will announce strike dates early in the new year.

‘Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s Ambulance service MEMBERS IN WALES ARE STRIKING BECAUSE THEY SEE FIRST-HAND EVERY DAY HOW THE NHS IS COLLAPSING. They are dedicated life-saving professionals and are taking this step because they know THE NHS ITSELF NEEDS SAVING.

“THE WELSH GOVERNMENT MUST PUT A BETTER OFFER ON THE TABLE TO HELP RESOLVE THE RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION CRISIS THAT IS CRIPPLING THE SERVICE. But it is also incumbent on THE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT IN WESTMINSTER, WHO HOLD THE ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY for the years of destruction inflicted on the NHS, to meet with heath unions and urgently address staffing and pay levels.”

Then from RCN Wales on 23 December 2022 – ‘RCN Wales Continue Plans for MORE STRIKE ACTION IN THE NEW YEAR DUE TO LACK OF ENGAGEMENT FROM WELSH GOVERNMENT’

‘Helen Whyley, Director of RCN Wales, said: ‘I am bitterly disappointed to be going into the Christmas holidays without any resolution to this. TWO DAYS OF STRIKE ACTION DOES NOT SEEM TO HAVE MOVED OUR WELSH GOVERNMENT MINISTERS AT ALL who CONTINUE TO HIDE BEHIND A FUNDING ROW RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON RESOLVING A WELSH DISPUTE IMPACTING ON WELSH PEOPLE.’

‘THE CURRENT SITUATION WITHIN NHS WALES IS DEEPLY CONCERNING WITH SIGNIFICANT RISKS to patients from insufficient nursing staff and a struggling burnt out workforce. The RCN believe that the public deserves better and the way to retain and attract nursing staff is to reward them appropriately for the safety critical work that they do. The nursing workforce must be supported to provide high quality patient care, and this must start with a significant and substantial pay rise.’

‘I have written to the Welsh Government this week requesting a way forward to avoid more strike action in Wales. IF THE WELSH GOVERNMENT DOES NOT MAKE A GENUINE COMMITMENT TO RESOLVING THIS DISPUTE NEW STRIKE DAYS WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN THE NEW YEAR.”

From RCM Wales on 13 December, 2022 – ‘Midwives in Wales vote yes to industrial action’

‘Julie Richards, Director for Wales at the RCM, said “Midwives and MSWs in Wales are exhausted. THE DISAPPOINTING AND UNACCEPTABLE 4% PAY OFFER SIMPLY REINFORCED THEIR FEELINGS OF BEING OVERLOOKED AND UNDERVALUED. Taking industrial action is always a last resort, and the decision taken by our members today shows just how DESPERATE THEY ARE FOR POLICY MAKERS TO LISTEN. THE WELSH GOVERNMENT MUST NOW DO SO to get maternity services in Wales back on track and to stop the inevitable exodus of demoralised staff.”

I become more and more astonished at the blatant, candidly jaw-dropping, level of hypocrisy being displayed by the Labour leadership in Scotland over the present public sector disputes given the wider UK context and especially given the stance that the Labour government in Wales judges it is necessary to take! I hope the base ethics of Labour’s leadership in Scotland gets exposed to the wider voting public.

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5 thoughts on “Nurses pay: Jaw-dropping, level of hypocrisy being displayed by the Labour leadership in Scotland

  1. On the 10pm news on BBC Radio4 last night there was an interview with the secretary of the RCN in Scotland, who, while indicating his members’ continued rejection of the settlement, went on, unprompted to praise Mr Yousaf for his efforts and stated that his union had a good relationship with the SG. The interviewer than interviewed Jackie Baillie, who immediately called on Mr Yousaf to resign. The statement by the RCN regarding Mr Yousaf was put to her. She did not comment, but went on to say that two other unions were continuing their dispute. The interviewer pointed out that two further unions had accepted. Ms Baillie said that they represented a minority of nurses. When the interviewer asked her what Labour would do she replied that she was not going to negotiate on the airwaves. It was put to her that her attitude contrasted with that of Mr Wes Streeting of UK Labour. She denied that.

    There was nothing positive, it was back to 2007 when she, Iain Gray, Johan Lamont started their oppositionism – the SNP shouldnae be in government it should be us. And, if asked they would do, they would say, the SNP shouldnae be in government, it should be us ….. and so on for the next 15 years.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Another year Baillie will be gone. With a bit of hope. Independencesupporters need to get out and vote. Every election. A higher turnout. To get rid of the opposition. The unionists will be gone. No longer there to make trouble and cause malicious lies. Independence supporters need to ge5 out and vote for it. Every election. Vote SNP. Vote for Independence with a bigger better turnout. Instead of complaining on the side lines. Use it or lose it. The power is in th3 people’s hands. To stop Labour unionists lies. Do not vote for them. Vote for Independence. Take another one to vote as well. Simple and easy. Vot3 the

    opposition out every election. Local council, Holyrood GE with a higher turnout,

    Liked by 3 people

  3. At the time of writing, one hour ago BBC Scotland’s main headline was

    ‘ScotRail warns of Christmas Eve strike disruption’.

    16 minutes later their main headline was amended to

    ‘Warning of Christmas Eve rail disruption due to strikes’

    It is still wrong. It should say

    ‘Network Rail issues warning of Christmas Eve travel disruption to ScotRail passengers due to strike action by RMT members.’

    I wonder what BBC Scotland will come up with in 2024 when Network Rail is renamed Great British Railways?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The headline on the main-page is “ScotRail warns of Christmas Eve strike disruption”, the article itself has the headline “Warning of Christmas Eve rail disruption due to strikes”.

      Liked by 1 person

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