Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1006/27822
From The Socialist newspaper, 22 August 2018
Keep Middlesbrough hospital staff in the NHS
John Malcolm, Teesside Socialist Party
Roseberry Park Hospital in Middlesbrough is a 365-bed mental health site built using a private finance initiative eight years ago at a cost of £75 million. By the end of the contract Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Health Trust will have paid out £328 million plus maintenance costs.
The construction company Laing O'Rourke cut corners and the building has major defects, including leaking roofs, problems with the water supply and faults with the security and fire alarm and safety system. Carillion, which had the maintenance contract, was unable to rectify the faults and it will now cost £50 million to put right. Every ward will have to be closed one by one and patients transferred to a new unit currently being built in the grounds.
The trust applied to the high court to cancel the contract. This is the first time this has happened and the high court recently ruled in favour of the trust, including awarding court costs.
Carillion employed about 25 workers. Since the collapse of Carillion these workers have faced insecurity over their future. The trust has set up an arm's length company, which Carillion staff were transferred into this June.
Bosses are now considering a number of options which could see the transfer of hundreds of ancillary staff out of the NHS into the new company. This is effectively another form of privatisation as their pensions, terms and conditions would be at risk and new employees would be employed on different terms and conditions, leading to a two-tier workforce.
Nationally, a number of trusts have already set up similar arms-length companies and strikes have taken place against them in Wigan and in Mid Yorkshire.
All unions representing staff at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys are opposed to the new wholly-owned subsidiary and the Unison branch covering the trust is launching a campaign.
Donate to the Socialist Party
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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 22 August 2018:
What we think
Antisemitism smears against Corbyn are battering ram of the right
Blairites go on saving Tories - boot them all out!
Nationalise rail! Tories out!
Bosses' pay up a fifth while workers' pay falls ...
Birmingham Prison crisis: a catastrophe of cuts and privatisation
Johnson's burqa outburst highlights racist Tory hypocrisy
Tories fear housing anger... but offer no solutions
Strategic discussion needed in civil servants' union after pay ballot
MOJ pay offer: robbing Peter to pay Peter
Victory: NHS workers say no to privatisation
London cleaners' strike: 'Pay us a living wage!'
Liebherr strike for better pay
Workplace news in brief
International socialist news and analysis
Argentina: The struggle for women's lives has been painted green!
Huge anti-government demos in Romania
Morandi Bridge disaster - private profit to blame
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Waltham Forest Labour council votes to close library - campaign goes on
Fight Leicester NHS cuts plan
Keep Middlesbrough hospital staff in the NHS
Newcastle fans protest against Mike Ashley
The Socialist sales drive - how can you help?
End Runcorn school PFI rip off
Huge but chaotic Brighton Pride needs to be politicised
Building Fund boost
Why I joined the Socialist Party: "I was searching for an alternative to this system"
Revolt and Rebellion West London walk success
Ahed Tamimi - worldwide symbol of self-esteem in face of oppression
Union bureaucracies, soviets and workers' power
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 22 August 2018 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook