DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Immorality of unions who gamble with lives
After years of intensive training in how to keep people safe and healthy, it beggars belief that junior doctors and nurses are willing to take industrial action they must know is costing lives.
Official statistics show excess deaths almost tripled in the week following the last strike by junior doctors from the British Medical Association.
It’s possible the walkout was not responsible for all the extra fatalities. But the idea they didn’t contribute to at least some of them is vanishingly unlikely.
So has this extra death toll made them reconsider their reckless actions? Far from it. After the end of the latest four-day-strike today, the junior doctors are now busily plotting more.
Worse still, they and the Royal College of Nursing, who rejected a perfectly fair pay offer yesterday, are said to be considering coordinated strikes to cause maximum disruption. If they were rail workers, the worst that could happen would be the trains not running. If they were passport office staff, holidays might end up being cancelled. With NHS staff, it is literally a matter of life and death.
Official statistics show excess deaths almost tripled in the week following the last strike by junior doctors from the British Medical Association
The Royal College of Nursing, who rejected a perfectly fair pay offer yesterday, are said to be considering coordinated strikes to cause maximum disruption
How on earth have we come to this – when doctors and nurses are prepared to use the well-being of their patients as bargaining chips in a row over pay?
They blame the Government for ‘forcing’ them to strike but it is entirely their choice to abandon their patients. And a deeply callous one.
The RCN leadership described yesterday’s vote as ‘historic’. In fact the Government’s improved pay offer was rejected by the narrowest of margins.
On a turnout of 61 per cent, just 54 per cent voted against accepting it. That means just a third of members are behind a new wave of strikes.
They may be legal – just. But many will certainly think them immoral.
Indeed the same enhanced offer – five per cent for 2023/4 plus a one-off payment of at least £1,655 on top of last year’s settlement – was accepted yesterday by Unison, which represents some nurses and most ambulance crews.
A spokesman said: ‘Clearly health workers would have wanted more, but this was the best that could be achieved through negotiation.’ And that’s the crucial point. Unison realised they were getting as much as the Government could afford in these straitened times.
The RCN and junior doctors should climb down from their soap box and face up to the same reality. The BMA is simply delusional if it thinks 35 per cent is a credible demand.
The Government’s improved pay offer was rejected by the RCN by the narrowest of margins
The RCN and junior doctors should climb down from their soap box and face up to the same reality
It costs £250,000 to train a doctor for the NHS. If these young strikers didn’t like the terms of employment on offer, they shouldn’t have taken our money in the first place.
But much of the public sector seems to be living in a dream world. Civil servants announced new strike dates yesterday, and teachers are also due to stage two more walkouts starting later this month.
Ironically, their actions are making the country poorer, so the likelihood of their getting what they want is more unaffordable and remote than ever.
Latest economic figures saw growth in the private sector being dragged down by the millstone of public sector strikes. A new ‘summer of discontent’ would make things infinitely worse.
The unions are clearly motivated by politics as well as avarice, hoping that their strikes will destabilise the Tories and clear the way for a more supine Labour administration which will shower them with cash.
But endangering lives, wilfully damaging children’s education and constantly bringing the transport system to a halt, will ultimately be self-defeating.
Public sympathy is already running low. Soon it will have evaporated altogether.
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