Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1014/28119
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 (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!
Donate to the Socialist Party
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.
- 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 Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 17 October 2018:
What we think
Tories' Brexit bust-up - general election now
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
Fully fund mental health services now
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
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
Peterloo film exposes bloody nature of capitalism
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 17 October 2018 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook