Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/905/22985
Student nurses march to oppose bursary cut
Len Hockey, Unite member at Whipps Cross Hospital
A lively vocal demonstration against Tory plans to remove bursaries from student nurses and allied health professions took place on 4 June in London.
The threatened students were joined by teachers, health workers and junior doctors in the march from St Thomas' hospital to NHS HQ at Richmond House.
Placards decrying Jeremy Hunt's funding starvation of health services as well as poverty pay plans for all NHS staff were carried together with the demand that private companies be 'kept off our NHS'.
The demo received support and applause from the public and shoppers along the route with some joining us when seeing its demands for adequate funding being raised.
The attack represents a potentially devastating blow. Students are being forced to take on tens of thousands of pounds in debt against the backdrop of the exodus already taking place as burned out, exhausted and demoralised staff leave. Insufficient numbers of new entrants are replacing them.
A rally took place at the end with speakers including National Union of Students president Malia Bouattia, fashion designer Viviane Westwood, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) president Cecilia Amin and Natalie Bennet from the Green Party along with health student campaigners and NHS users.
Everyone on the demo agreed with linking together the junior doctors' and nurses' campaigns, but our leaflets argued that the major health unions, including Unison, Unite and the RCN, should launch a national campaign against the attacks on the NHS, including strike action. Socialist Party placards saying "health workers strike together" were popular.
In The Socialist 8 June 2016:
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news