Tag Archives: #MoralConflict

Striking, Nursing and Role Morality

Last week Dr Peter Carter (general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing) angered a large proportion of the nurses and support workers he is supposed to represent by urging them not to strike, since doing so would involve “abandoning their patients.”

One of the things he said in his speech to the RCN’s annual congress is less controversial; not giving NHS workers their 1% pay rise in line with the cost of living is obviously “insulting”, and as someone on the lowest rung of their pay scale, I can attest to the fact that what I earn is enough for a young, childless person to just about subsist on but not a lot more. And whilst striking is clearly at its most effective (and ethically defensible) when the individuals setting working conditions and wages are the ones directly harmed by the strike (i.e. corporation owners), public sector strikes  do often work, and can do so in a way which either does not harm, or only negligibly harms, the public (and may even help them.)

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