A meeting to consider the formation of a trade union for trained women nurses a largely attended meeting took place on Saturday (25th October 1919) afternoon at the Mortimer Hall, Great Portland street, London.
Among the objects of the movement, as outlined by Mr. Theodore Goddard, the solicitor who has been advising the organizers, are the promotion of State registration of al trained nurses; the establishment of an employment agency; the securing of a minimum rate of remuneration and maximum working hours; the provision of benefits for members when totally incapacitated; and the abolition of abuses detrimental to their welfare and economic independence.
Miss Maude MacCallum, who presided, said that the movement bad originated in the ranks of the working nurses, and no existing society was responsible for it. She referred to the " unfair competition" of hospitals which were housing and maintaining private staffs and. undercutting the trained nurses in outside professional. work. One large hospital was already sending out nurses at 2 and half guineas a week.
Miss MacCallum moved a resolution that immediate steps be taken to form a professional union. Miss Mac Donald, who seconded, said that never had there been a time of greater crisis for the nurses. Thousands were out of employment because they could not secure a living wage.
The resolution to- form.- union was declared carried by a large majority. A nurse among the audience expressed the hope that any strike clause in the rules would be so framed to ensure that it would be directed against the employers