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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 September 2017

Tories retreat on pay cap - nurses demand more

Strike to save our NHS!

Health workers marching on the demo for the NHS, 4.3.17, photo Mary Finch

Health workers marching on the demo for the NHS, 4.3.17, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Steve Williams, NHS nurse

Nurses are already well-paid, according to the Tory MP for Walsall North, Eddie Hughes. This is just the latest example of how out of touch with reality the Tories are.

Try telling it to my colleagues, who have experienced a 14% real-terms cut in pay since 2010. Try telling it to the nurses who are forced to use foodbanks in order to get by.

And it's not just in the pockets of nurses where the pay cap causes harm. With 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies, it has a direct impact on the delivery of care, with ward closures caused by staff shortages.

However, the Tories are in disarray. The parliamentary vote on ending the pay cap wasn't even opposed by Theresa May. Our not so "strong and stable" leader feared the damage a Commons defeat would inflict on her government.

A wage claim of 3.9% has been submitted by the health unions and it is a welcome start. But 3.9% is the same as 'RPI' inflation. So in real terms, it would mean wages only just keep up with price rises.

Health service workers need a decent, real-terms pay rise to start to make up for the lost decade of wage restraint.

There's a rising tide of anger against austerity. In Doncaster, bin workers and staff in privatised care homes are balloting for industrial action in defence of their pay and conditions.

Coordinate the strikes

Then there's the host of disputes reported weekly by the Socialist. The Birmingham bin workers, striking BA cabin crew, and the brave fight of staff at Barts NHS Trust in east London.

The Socialist Party says these actions should be coordinated, and linked to struggle across the public and private sectors, in an uncompromising campaign against the government and austerity.

Nurses are angry. Colleagues of mine who once would never have considered industrial action now ask me when we are going on strike!

That time should be now. Let's give the Tories a winter of discontent that finishes off their rotten government once and for all.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 20 September 2017:


Socialist Students

Fight tuition fees

Why do young people need socialism?


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Refreshing, anticapitalist - but little pointing a way forward

Interview: the "socialist John Le Carré"

The Socialist Inbox


What we think

Labour conference: Corbyn's support must be used to defeat Blairites


International socialist news and analysis

Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis


Socialist Party news and analysis

Grenfell inquiry begins: not sufficient, not trusted

Strike to save our NHS!

Fight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

Defuse the consumer debt time bomb: nationalise the banks!


Workplace news and analysis

Deal concludes Barts health strike - "We have raised our heads high"

Bin workers vote to continue action following rally

CWU strike ballot - why I'm voting Yes

Fight university's 'sackers' charter'

McStrike solidarity event

London Buses safety campaign


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Protest to pressure Labour to scrap Haringey redevelopment plans

Fight for an alternative to the misery of capitalism

Tragic death highlights Chatsworth ward closure risk

East London summit fails to address housing crisis

Interest at Nottingham Green festival


 

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