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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 November 2019

Frimley NHS Trust strikes: Health workers walkout against privatisation

photo Paul Mattsson

photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Terry Pearce, chair, Bracknell Unite (personal capacity)

Facilities staff at Wexham Park and Heatherwood hospitals in Berkshire, and at Frimley Park in Surrey (members of Unite, Unison and GMB trade unions) will strike on 18 and 19 November, in an escalation of their campaign to stay in the National Health Service (NHS).

Their employer, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, plans to privatise up to 1,000 NHS cleaners, caterers, porters, security and estates staff to a new wholly-owned subsidiary (WOS) company early next year.

Staff employed directly by the NHS will maintain their existing terms and conditions. However, staff transferred to the WOS will only stay on NHS terms and conditions until 2021, and new staff employed by the WOS will be on different terms and conditions.

The spread of WOS's is part of a government strategy to introduce more privatisation into the NHS, to drive down pay and conditions and ultimately boost private profit. They have been introduced into many NHS trusts around the country and are planned for many more.

However, strike action and threatened strike action in 2018 by NHS workers in Mid Yorkshire and in Wigan won major victories against privatisation, as did NHS workers at Bradford teaching hospitals earlier this year.

While all trade union organisations and members must rally to the NHS workers we must also involve the wider community.

There is a history in the area of fighting to defend the NHS including an epic campaign to save Heatherwood Hospital from closure, which was won following a 25,000 strong petition, marches, demonstrations led by the Save Heatherwood Hospital Campaign.

Already Bracknell Unite branch, Bracknell National Pensioners Convention, Bracknell Defend Our Community Services and Save Heatherwood Hospital Campaign have expressed solidarity with the NHS staff and will be joining strikers on the picket lines.

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In The Socialist 13 November 2019:


What we think

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News

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Labour MP targeted by right wing stands as independent

NHS in critical condition

Green Party offers no alternative for young people and climate change chaos


International socialist news and analysis

Bolivia: Right-wing coup ousts Morales

Kshama Sawant reelected in Seattle


Workplace news

'McStrikers' demand 15 an hour

UCU strikes: Union means business in fight against employers

Postal union determined to resist bosses' attacks

PCS union general secretary election: Enthusiastic support for Marion Lloyd

Frimley NHS Trust strikes: Health workers walkout against privatisation

Bradford libraries and museums: Unite members escalate action against cuts

RMT union members at SWR to walk out in December

Transport for London - Justice for cleaners!


Education

Save education - Kick out the Tories


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Leicester campaigns to save our NHS

Fighting for free education, jobs, homes, and a future worth living

Socialism 2019 rally: "Socialist change needed to end climate change"

Trade union conference to force secret police disclosure

Barking: protest brings pledge to remove dangerous decking

Help socialist ideas spread this election: donate!

We saved Chatsworth Ward - two years on

I'm 90 and still a socialist


Readers' opinion

Readers' opinion: Twitter's banning of political ads threatens workers' voice

Theatre: On Bear Ridge - an examination of loss, set in a post-apocalyptic world

Socialism 2019 - what you thought


 

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