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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 October 2018

Bolton hospital workers strike as subsidiary company refuses NHS pay rates

Save our NHS demo 4.3.17, photo Mary Finch

Save our NHS demo 4.3.17, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Steve North, Salford Socialist Party

Cleaners, catering staff and porters at Royal Bolton Hospital struck for 48 hours on 11 and 12 October over pay. The strikers are organised by public service union Unison.

Their employer, iFM Bolton, is a 'wholly owned subsidiary' of Royal Bolton NHS Foundation Trust. It refuses to pay the recent NHS wage increase - because its workers are technically not employed by the NHS.

The recent three-year NHS pay deal, while not good enough, does mean that workers in the health service's 'Agenda for Change' pay system will earn a minimum of 9.89 an hour by 2020.

Despite signing an agreement in 2017 stating it would implement any nationally agreed NHS pay rates, the most iFM has been willing to offer is 8.75 an hour. Even that was only after the workforce challenged management.

Socialist Party members attended picket lines on the Thursday and Friday morning. We spoke to a determined workforce, which rightly insists it should be treated the same as any other NHS workers.

On Friday lunchtime, pickets and supporters battled heavy rain in Bolton to hold a strike rally. The highlight was a message of support from Joanne, a Unison member in Wigan who was part of the recent victory against Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust. Workers prevented the establishment of another such wholly owned subsidiary through industrial action.

The message from the iFM workers was clear. Yes we want NHS pay, but we won't stop fighting until we're employed directly by the NHS!

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In The Socialist 17 October 2018:


What we think

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News

Universal credit = universal misery

New anti-poll tax type revolt needed today

Homeless driven from Windsor streets for royal wedding: abolish the monarchy and end homelessness now!

Toxic fracking gets the go-ahead while protesters jailed

No to fat-cat top judges' 59k pay hike - fight for decent pay for criminal justice workers

Tory and Trump hypocrisy over murder of Saudi Arabian journalist


Mental health

Fully fund mental health services now


Workplace news

PCS union: nominate Chris Baugh as Left Unity candidate for assistant general secretary

Striking Brum home carers reject 'final' pay cut offer

South Western rail workers launch five-day safety strike to save guards

Uber drivers strike against unfair 'deactivation' and low pay

Bolton hospital workers strike

Grimethorpe dinner ladies stage all-out strike against redundancy

Cable makers' pay strike bites as production falls 33%

Newham finance staff fight pay and grading insult


International socialist news and analysis

Libres y Combativas: striking for women's rights in the Spanish state


Engels

The renewed relevance of Engels' classic Socialism: Utopian and Scientific


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Demo against far-right DFLA

Socialism - the podcast offering Marxist analysis for the movement against capitalism

'Corbyn-council' faces a choice: Implement or fight the cuts

Devon foster carers fight 30% cut in allowances

De Montfort freshers stall


Opinion

Peterloo film exposes bloody nature of capitalism

The Socialist Inbox


 

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