The Student Assembly Against Austerity is backing this walkout. ‘Walkout Wednesday’ - as it is being called - takes place in the middle of our national week of action taking place from Monday 8 – Sunday 14 February in defence of the NHS and education, vital public services which are under huge attack from Tory cuts.
We urge Students’ Unions, students and campaigners to get behind the student nurse walkout. Below we share a model motion which you can pass in your Students’ Union or your student society to back the walkout.
This Students' Union notes that:
1. From 2017, the government are proposing to scrap the NHS bursary for student nurses, midwives, radiographers, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, dieticians and occupational therapists. These students are also going to be made to pay over £50,000 to do these degrees instead of them being NHS funded.
2. Over 155,000 people have signed a petition and over 5,000 people marched through London on 9th January against this decision by the Government. Further demonstrations occurred in Newcastle, Manchester and Middlesbrough.
3. Some of these courses involve clinical placement time, for example nursing, midwifery and radiography courses are 50% tutoring time and 50% clinical placements. Currently the bursary means these students are paid roughly £3 for each hour worked during clinical placement. This does not cover living costs, especially in London, but it does offer some support.
4. Current student nurses, midwives, radiographers, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, dieticians and occupational therapists will walk out from their placements to join the Junior Doctor strike on the 10th February in order to protest against the cuts to bursaries and introduction of fees but also to stand in solidarity with Junior Doctors and to unite our fight.
5. Students will also wear an armband over their uniforms that day for those who are unable to participate in the walkout, such as those on community placements.
This Union Branch believes that:
1. The government should not introduce fees for student nurses, midwives, radiographers, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, dieticians and occupational therapists.
2. The government should not scrap the NHS bursary and should recognise that these students are undertaking unpaid work for up to half of their course which should be rewarded with a wage or bursary.
3. Cuts to the bursary and the introduction of fees for would-be health workers is part of a wider political attack by the government on one of our most valued institutions, which we defend alongside the Junior Doctors.
This Students' Union resolves to:
1. Support students on their walkout and day of action on the 10th February, specifically against any disciplinary action from their universities and/or placement areas.
2. Donate money to the students campaign so that they can afford to provide the necessary materials in order to make this movement as broad as possible and to publicise the campaign, such as printing leaflets and making the armbands. This will be in the form of receipts being passed on to branches to claim expenses from the campaign. All transactions will be transparent.
3. To send this motion on anywhere else if agreed e.g. higher union structures, trades council