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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 January 2020

Northern Ireland: Thousands of nurses continue to strike for better pay

NHS

NHS   (Click to enlarge)

Thousands of nurses and healthcare workers in Northern Ireland have been taking part in industrial action since November over pay parity and staffing.

The workers in the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), Unison and Unite trade unions are fighting to be paid the same as their counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales. The RCN argues the real value of nurses' pay in Northern Ireland has fallen by 15% over the past eight years.

Devolved government returned to Northern Ireland on 11 January and new health minister Robin Swann claims he wants to resolve the strike, but workers are rightly saying they want a deal delivered, not just words, before industrial action is ended.

Tory Julian Smith, Northern Ireland secretary in Westminster, claimed that the 12-hour strike on 10 January should have been called off given the restoration of government in Stormont. But he holds powers to intervene and could have done so earlier.

Hundreds of nurses and health care workers staged a picket outside the Department of Health on 10 January.

They argued that they have been told money is there to resolve the matter, and that they need to ensure they get it. They demanded Smith ensures the money is released.

CWI Northern Ireland members say: "The commitments in the current draft Stormont deal provide no assurances to workers that they will actually receive pay equality.

"As we all know, promises from the Tories mean little and the reality is that health workers and patients are being used as a bargaining chip by the governments. The entire situation is a disgraceful reflection of the duplicity and callousness that marks what is considered to be mainstream politics."

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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.

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In The Socialist 15 January 2020:


What we think

Labour Party leadership contest: Fight for a mass anti-austerity, workers' party with a socialist programme

Labour leadership race: Reverse Unison's undemocratic nomination of Blairite Starmer


News

Low Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

Build for strikes to save NHS

No free ride for the airline bosses - nationalise Flybe now!

Them & Us


Workplace news

Hackney school bus workers win pay increase following strikes

PCS: Time to rebuild the left

Northern Ireland: Thousands of nurses continue to strike for better pay

Westex Carpet strike reaches two month mark

London bus drivers ballot to strike

Union lawyer arrested on security guards' picket line


Campaigns

We need socialists in London's City Hall

Stop gentrification in Newham: "We are here, you have consulted us and we're not going anywhere!"

Massive Scottish independence demo marks new stage in struggle

Young people who voted for Corbyn's manifesto will now ask... How can we win those ideas?

London: Protesters return to oppose Middle East war

Cladding scandal: Government steps up defence of landlords

Nottingham: Youth protest against Barclays 64 million fossil-fuel investments

Socialist Party national committee meeting


International socialist news and analysis

Renewed protests shake Iranian leaders

France: Strike wave over pensions - Macron government in retreat


Readers' opinion

Sustainable food production and the need for socialism

TV Review: Apocalypse Cow

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Northern Ireland:

triangleCovid pandemic and Northern Ireland - workers must resist the bosses' offensive

triangleTwo-metre rule under 'review' - Another case of profit before safety

triangleMay Day 2020: join the protests - wear red, bring flags and banners

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Ireland:

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RCN:

triangleNHS workers angry at reality of mis-sold 'pay rise'

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