Wednesday, July 19, 2006

NUPE Nurses 1937

Nurses Must Organise.

by Arthur Moyle

NUPE Journal October 1937

Nurses, however, must realise that improvements in their conditions of service will come only when they have the good sense to organise, just as other professions have done, through their appropriate trade unions. To do so is neither unprofessional nor revolutionary. It is, in fact, essential to good administration.

There are 32,824 nurses employed in Greater London and there is not 20 per cent. of them effectively organised. The National Union of Public employees (NUPE) has done much to improve conditions of service for nurses, both men and female, in municipal establishments.

Having become conscious of their grievances. Nurses should now realise the need to organise and the power that would ensue to make their profession not only a noble one but an attractive one.

The general discontent amongst nurses and their lack of organisation constitutes N.U.P.E.'s opportunity to render them effective service.' The long hours and low pay of nurses is a menace, and imposes a severe handicap upon our efforts to.

Improve the general standard of conditions of Hospital Staffs. It is urged, therefore, upon all N.U.P.E: membership to rally to our efforts to organise Nurses, and thus make N.U.P.E. the premier organisation for Nurses employed in local government establishments.

What we must aim at is :—

1) A standard minimum of salary scales and conditions of service comparable with other professions.

2) A maximum 48-hour week worked on a straight-duty basis.

3) The complete abolition of unnecessary, childish, irritating restrictions.

4) Probationers to be freed from manual duties irrelevant to nursing by the appointment of women orderlies.

Granted those reforms, there will be plenty of girls of the right type eager to enter the nursing profession.


Arthur Moyle later Labour MP for Birmingham