Midwives went on strike on Monday to protest the Government's decision not to give them a recommended 1% pay rise - and Edwina Currie thinks they're disgraceful.
— Edwina Currie (@Edwina_Currie) October 13, 2014
The former MP 's comments drew stinging criticism from many on Twitter, who said the NHS staff were standing up for fair pay.
— George Newton (@GeorgeNewton1) October 13, 2014
.@Edwina_Currie yes so think how desperate they must be to go on strike. We need MORE midwives, Tories are killing the NHS— Helen Dewdney (@ComplainingCow) October 13, 2014
The dispute involves over 400,000 NHS staff, who have been hit by pay freezes or below inflation rises since the coalition came to power in 2010.
Unite said a poll it commissioned showed public support for the industrial action, as well as backing for a decent pay rise.
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Currie questioned the validity of the strike.
Less than ten per cent of Unison's NHS members voted to strike. Shame on you, pressurising the rest to walk out today. What about patients?— Edwina Currie (@Edwina_Currie) October 13, 2014
And then many questioned the validity of her statement.
@Edwina_Currie I know for a fact many people wanted to strike & couldn't due to the nature of the job, real shame and a conflict of beliefs— Cheryl Cain (@CherylCain) October 13, 2014
@Edwina_Currie Where you get those figures? Was over 70% in my branch.— elizabeth fischer (@lizzyf101) October 13, 2014
Undeterred Currie went on to highlight the level of pay midwives already receive.
Annie Black, who has been a midwife for 12 years, quoted in support of strike. But band 6 midwives start at £25,783. More than min wage— Edwina Currie (@Edwina_Currie) October 13, 2014
Which didn't go down well.
.@Edwina_Currie So, anybody who is paid more than the minimum wage has, de facto, no grounds for grievance?— Johnnie Ingram (@johnnieingram) October 13, 2014
@Edwina_Currie less than the average though 26k is pennies— Keith (@TheOfficialMack) October 13, 2014
@Edwina_Currie Of course they should receive more than minimum wage! They're highly skilled professionals who are massively undervalued.— Helen Howard (@bambihelen) October 13, 2014
Then she had a pop at senior midwives who are slightly better off.
.@Edwina_Currie The basic salary for a UK MP is £67,060 (plus expenses). So, is every MP doing 170% of the job of a competent midwife?— Johnnie Ingram (@johnnieingram) October 13, 2014
@Edwina_Currie absolutely shocked by the ignorance - the pay reflects the job. Lets cut the MP wage if that's such a good salary??— claire_liz (@claire_liz) October 13, 2014
Inevitably, 'The Egg Incident' came up.
And the the floodgates opened...
Jeremy Vine. Paid by the Licence Fee. A Highly Trained Midwife, paid by the tax payer. Edwina Currie. Paid by the devil? #bbcr2— acronymWTF (@acronymWTF) October 13, 2014
Edwina Currie is a moron. She's totally missed the point. @theJeremyVine— Gemma Ashcroft (@AshcroftGemma) October 13, 2014