Public workers being 'severely let down by the government'

Candy Gregory. Credit: ITV News Meridian

A nurse from Ramsgate has told ITV Meridian public workers are being "severely let down by the government".

Registered nurse Candy Gregory joined dozens of people on the picket line at Ramsgate on Thursday as members of the RMT union went on strike for a second day in a row over pay and working conditions.Registered nurse Ms Gregory says she's in full support of the RMT's strike action.

Asked if the industrial action could spread to other public sector workers, she said: "I think we are heading for a general strike.

"It's really quite serious and there are other groups of workers here - including teachers.

"Because of how the government are treating public workers.

"We were there during the pandemic, everyone clapped including the Prime Minister himself and he said how wonderful we are.

Boris Johnson taking part in Clap for Carers in 2020. Credit: PA

"But at the end of that, they offered nurses a 1% pay rise, which was an absolute slap rather than a clap.

"Then there was Keir Starmer who came up with 2% - and that was also an insult to nurses.

"So when you think we have 46,000 vacant posts for registered nurses, and it's getting worse. We just can't afford to be nurses anymore."

The RMT's dispute focuses on Network Rail and the train operating companies.

The union says it wants its members to be paid fairly, but there are also concerns about almost 3,000 job losses. They also say there's a threat to staff being fired and re-hired on worse conditions and the closure of most ticket offices.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union leader has hinted at the prospect of further strikes if a settlement is not reached on the industrial dispute, as thousands of railway workers stage a second day of walkouts after talks failed.

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