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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 April 2017

Strikes can end nurses' poverty pay

Unions and Corbyn must lead NHS action

Nurses and doctors marching to save the NHS, 4.3.17, photo DavidMBailey Photography

Nurses and doctors marching to save the NHS, 4.3.17, photo DavidMBailey Photography   (Click to enlarge)

Matt Whale, NHS nurse

Three thousand nurses have been forced to take out payday loans, according to data received by the Sunday Mirror - and that's just in the last six months!

This is a direct consequence of the real-terms pay cut of 14% nurses have had over the past seven years of Tory rule. Nurses' union RCN also highlights the worrying trend of nurses turning to food banks in order to feed themselves and their families.

The government's disdain for the NHS is clear. Vicious cuts to funding, hospital closures and privatisation of services are putting patients' lives at risk. Now the staff who somehow keep the NHS together despite all the attacks are turning to legalised loan sharks and food banks in order to make it from month to month.

But we aren't taking these attacks lying down. The inspirational struggle by junior doctors has given confidence to NHS workers that we can struggle, that we can take on the government.

The RCN is taking historic steps towards potential strike action, polling its members to find out if there is a mood for a formal industrial action ballot. Unison, the largest health union, must do the same.

Action gets results, as NHS domestic staff in east London recently showed - with victorious snap walkouts against removal of their tea break. With the support of the health unions and the public, we can win.

Anger is growing within the nursing profession at the state of the NHS, nurses' pay and the quality of care we are able to provide. A genuine campaign across the unions against cuts and to scrap the pay cap - with the genuine threat of industrial action - could force the Tories back.

A nurses' strike with full support from our brothers and sisters in other sectors would be huge. To build support for strike action and anti-austerity policies, Jeremy Corbyn, the health unions and the Trade Union Congress should call a second national march for the NHS during the election campaign following the very successful one on 4 March.

The NHS is at breaking point. Workers and the public need to come together in defence of our NHS, and in defence of the brilliant staff who make the NHS the incredible service it is.

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In The Socialist 26 April 2017:


What we think

A bold socialist campaign could get rid of the Tories


Socialist Party news and analysis

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International socialist news and analysis

Mélenchon result shows potential for building a mass left force


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Solidarity greetings in the Socialist for International Workers' Day 2017


 

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Related links:

Nurses:

triangleThem & Us

triangleStop the Tory NHS wreckers

triangleNHS: public health - not private profit

triangleNHS we're ready to fight

triangleNHS: use the 3 February protests as a launch pad for a mass movement

Poverty:

triangleAusterity: not one more day - Tories out now

triangleEnd "poverty, ill health and despair":a benefits adviser speaks out against the cuts

triangleWonderful socialist play finds Edwardian poverty not in past

triangleEven UN slams Tory poorhouse Britain

Pay:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleBradford College joins #FEfightback strike for decent pay

triangleCollege lecturers in Wales strike against low pay and workload

Unions:

triangleThousands march against racism - now Corbyn and unions must take lead

triangleGovernment limps on... Corbyn and unions must call urgent, mass action

NHS:

triangleHealth bosses move goalposts on A&E waiting times: more funds for our NHS now!

Strike:

triangleMidwives go on strike in New Zealand

Health:

triangleSan Francisco Bay Area's toxic smoke crisis and capitalism's mismanagement

RCN:

triangleNHS workers angry at reality of mis-sold 'pay rise'

Privatisation:

triangleAnother victory against NHS privatisation

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleFight for a general election to kick out the Tories

Hospital:

triangleKing George A&E faces closure again

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