Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/963/26166
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 (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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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.
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In The Socialist 20 September 2017:
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
The Socialist 20 September 2017 |
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