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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 April 2012

Health service pensions - reject the deal - coordinated action needed

The 2012 Unison Health Care Service Group Conference will take place from 23-25 April 2012 in Brighton. The conference comes in the middle of the Unison ballot on pensions in the health service and during the service group executive elections which end on 18 May.

This pensions deal should be decisively rejected. On 30 November many health service workers took strike action as part of the two-million-strong public sector strike in a tremendous show of defiance. This demonstration of anger and frustration was not only against the increase in the retirement age and paying more for a smaller pension but against the continuous reorganisations, job losses, the Health and Social Care Act and 20 billion in brutal so-called efficiency savings, really cuts.

Disgracefully, instead of building on this magnificent action and continuing to work alongside those public sector unions who reject the deal, our Unison leadership decided to halt any further action.

This is despite the fact that the government was not prepared to discuss any concessions.

This government is determined to drive down our wages, terms and conditions, having recently announced that they are in favour of introducing regional pay.

As staffing costs represent 70% of their budgets, they say they have no choice but to either cut services or attack our pay and conditions to meet the 20 billion 'savings' target. But, according to the press, the NHS chiefs have said after this they are looking at another 20 billion of cuts!

Because of the political consequences of cuts in services, they are much more likely to cut staff pay and working conditions. If we don't defend our pensions it will give the green light to this government of the rich to attack our other rights and conditions.

It is clear that we need a strong union. We must reject the argument that any cuts are necessary - just look at the amount lost to the public purse through tax avoidance, mainly by the rich - 120 billion annually!

Taking all the privatised services back in-house would mean the NHS wasn't subsidising the fat profits of the contractor companies.

We face another year with no pay rise and then two further years of an imposed pay rise of 1%. We cannot trust this government of millionaires, only interested in allowing their rich friends and families to get even richer, and making working people pay for it.

Unison, as the largest public sector union, must reject this deal and start to coordinate united industrial action with the other unions rejecting the deal.

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In The Socialist 18 April 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Strike on 10 May! Vote TUSC on 3 May!

10 May strike will re-ignite pensions battle

Scrap the act! Unions must call national demo to save NHS

The revolting philanthropy of the filthy rich

Welsh government slashes student grants

NUS needs a fighting leadership

Clegg's text message plans make us LOL!

Them & Us


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

On 3 May use your vote to: Shake up politics and fight all cuts!

Vote Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) on 3 May

Come and hear TUSC candidates standing in your area


Socialist Party workplace news

Re-elect the PCS fighting leadership

Usdaw conference

Health service pensions - reject the deal - coordinated action needed

Changing the trade unions into combative organisations


Socialist history

1932 - mass trespass won the right to roam


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Pro-choice action in Worthing

No to cuts: make the bosses pay!

Disabled people fighting back

Success at Varndean College, Brighton

Obituary: Arthur Deane


International socialist news and analysis

USA: An 'inspiring vibrant movement'

Tunisia: Brutal government crackdown on protesters will backfire


Reviews and Comment

Grim toll for hidden police racism

The Hunger Games


 

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