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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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Tory trouble

What we saw


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The real origins of May Day


International socialist news and analysis

Mélenchon result shows potential for building a mass left force


Socialist Party workplace news

Strikes can end nurses' poverty pay

Len McCluskey re-election - a defeat for the right

Usdaw ADM 2017: Left challenge needed to end assault on retail jobs and conditions

PCS Left Unity says get rid of the Tories!

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Workplace news in brief


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Socialist Party comments and reviews

The Socialist inbox


May Day greetings


Solidarity greetings in the Socialist for International Workers' Day 2017


 

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Related links:

Nurses:

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

trianglePrivate profit out of our NHS

Poverty:

triangleFearful bosses call for 'fairer capitalism'...

triangle4m children in homes that can't afford fruit and veg

triangleWorking families £50 a week short of paying for kids

triangleLondon cleaners' strike: 'Pay us a living wage!'

Pay:

triangleUniversity pay ballot: vote yes for strike action!

triangleLiverpool airport workers demand decent pay

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Unions:

triangleNSSN rally: militant trade unionists share ideas to win for workers

triangleTories in chaos - general election now!

NHS:

triangleYork health workers say no to privatisation

Strike:

triangleLeicester UCU fights redundancies

Health:

triangleBig drugs companies dodge £3 billion pounds in tax

RCN:

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

Privatisation:

triangleReading council plans privatisation - set a no-cuts budget instead!

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Hospital:

triangleMarch to save threatened Liverpool Women's Hospital

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