How we can support our nursing colleagues during their strike

by Georgie Budd and Amna Babiker

Pulling together with partners across the NHS during industrial action 

Location: Wales
Published: Wednesday 14 December 2022

As your co-chairs of the Welsh BMA junior doctors committee, we are keen to reach you ahead of the Royal College of Nursing strikes to communicate our firmly held sentiment regarding solidarity with nursing colleagues.

We believe this is something we should be encouraging as strongly as we are able. Nurses are vital in the support and education of juniors, especially as they navigate foundation training.

We understand that there can be confusion and an element of fear around the best way to support our nursing colleagues who are taking industrial action. In this respect, we would refer you to the BMA guidelines on the website.

Some key points for us are:

  • It’s going to be cold on that picket line! Take them a cup of tea/coffee
  • Do NOT obstruct or discourage a nursing colleague from exercising their legal right to strike
  • Challenge problematic behaviour if you can or report anything untoward relating to juniors and medical students to us
  • Download RCN strike materials from the website and display them wherever you can!

Support colleagues on social media to raise awareness of the reason nurses have taken this action. This is especially important as their reasons for striking are ones we are very familiar with. Unfair pay is driving chronic understaffing. It puts patients at risk and leaves nursing staff overworked, underpaid and undervalued.

Solidarity at this time between the healthcare professions is vital. Our NHS is broken and the repairs must be driven by those on the ground working in collaboration and holding our government to account for a commitment to lasting and meaningful change.

We need to pull together and work towards a future where we recommit to the founding principles of a national health service. This is only possible if we work together.