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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

40% of GPs plan to quit - reverse all NHS cuts and sell-offs!

Cuts, profit and bureaucracy lead to 50% rise in mental health deaths

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What we saw


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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!

BMW strikers determined to win pensions dispute

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Workplace news in brief


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How Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party


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Doncaster TUSC: TUSC's programme for local jobs and Services

Peter Taaffe speaks in Birkenhead

East London tenants fight 40% rent hike


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:

triangleWider working-class and union struggle needed to win St Vincent nurses' strike

triangleNHS workers must take action now to save our NHS

triangleTory NHS funding won't fix staff shortage

triangleBromsgrove protest for NHS fair pay

triangleNHS in crisis - 'It's time for action'

Poverty:

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Pay:

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Unions:

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Strike:

triangleOaks Park School: valiant strike exposed state of schools

Health:

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RCN:

triangleNHS workers reject 3% insult

Privatisation:

triangleTories hand cash to private health profiteers

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleCorbyn's Peace and Justice Project

Hospital:

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