Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1103/31421

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 September 2020

Underpaid, traumatised and leaving...

NHS workers need 15% rise and full funding

Demanding a 15% pay rise for NHS workers, 8th August 2020, Manchester, photo Sally G

Demanding a 15% pay rise for NHS workers, 8th August 2020, Manchester, photo Sally G   (Click to enlarge)

Ruth Byrne, NHS worker

As NHS staff face the second wave of Covid-19, we are also preparing another round of protests on 17 October calling for a pay rise.

Health and care staff put their lives on the line every day during the first wave of Covid-19, often with not enough or inadequate PPE. The rise we are asking for seems tiny when you think of the role workers played in holding the line.

The grassroots protests are calling for a 15% pay rise. Several unions are now calling for 15% or 3,000, whichever is higher. This should be just the start - most staff would need further rises even to match the pay they received before the Con-Dem coalition started slashing public sector wages in 2010.

36% of nurses are thinking about leaving the NHS in the next year, mainly due to low pay and the way they were treated during the Covid-19 crisis, according to a survey by the Royal College of Nursing. Already, 28% of nurses and health visitors leave their posts within three years of starting, finds the King's Fund.

The failures of the government have turned the rush of health professionals who came back to help the NHS during the first wave into a flood in the other direction.

It's not like the government isn't prepared to spend public money like water when it comes to handing out contracts to their friends in private companies. Notorious outsourcer Serco has received contracts for Covid-19 contact tracing worth up to 432 million, and for test centres worth 45 million.

According to doctors' union BMA, setting up Nightingale hospitals for three months cost around 350 million - yet they only treated around 100 patients.

Many NHS workers are furious that the testing service run so disastrously by Serco is allowed to brand itself as NHS. 'It's not the NHS! is a familiar cry.

Meanwhile, as Covid-19 cases increase, NHS labs are forced to prioritise Covid-19 tests, which means other urgent tests cannot always be done. The difference between privatised services and the NHS is that the first duty of the NHS is to patients, not company profits.

Staff still feel traumatised by the first wave. Many felt utterly unprepared for it.

Whole hospitals were unrecognisable. Staff were redeployed from very different jobs straight into high-risk areas like intensive care. They speak of the helplessness they felt as the normal treatments didn't work, watching patients suffer and die. Many have also lost valued colleagues to the disease.

Time off sick for stress and anxiety-related issues soared by 37% immediately after the height of the first wave. It is very frustrating seeing everything the government was warned about happening again.

The grassroots movement for a 15% pay rise has shown the huge anger and willingness to fight of NHS staff. It is absolutely crucial that the unions begin to harness that anger and determination, and actively prepare to call and coordinate strike action to demand a proper rise for all NHS staff.

This weak, divided government could be forced to U-turn on this as well. And this fight should be linked to calls for mass hiring and investment in NHS facilities, with all testing, health and care services brought fully into the public sector.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.
  • 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.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 30 September 2020:


News

Tory scheme won't halt mass unemployment: mobilise the unions!

Job Support Scheme - too little, too late

Under the microscope

News in brief


International news

Trump's failure over western US wildfires

US: Police escape justice over Breonna Taylor killing

South Africa: Working class unity to stop violence against women


What we think

Covid restrictions expose Tory splits


Students

Students trapped on Covid campuses speak out

Apprehension about Covid - anger at fees, costs and exploitation


Black History Month

Still crawling at 60: Capitalism has failed Nigeria


Workplace news

Trade unions must fight to put their stamp on events

Usdaw elections: Defend members' right to participate

PCS: No to DWP management's plans - Yes to action

NHS workers need 15% rise and full funding

Fight BT redundancies

Peterborough CWU have massively voted for strike action


Campaigns and party news

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Labour moved right and left me behind

71,522 raised: We've smashed our target again

Selling the Socialist

Newham: Closed and evicted

Campaign for new King George Hospital wing gets boost

Solidarity not charity


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 30 September 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

NHS:

triangleUnite to fight Tory pay insults

trianglePublic sector pay - Prepare for action!

triangleReaders' comments

triangleEveryone can spot Socialist Party in Stoke

triangleScrap the privatising health and care bill

Covid:

triangle'Pingdemic' exemptions

triangleNSSN TUC rally

trianglePreparing for struggle in post-Covid Britain

Pay:

triangleIsrael: Hospital ancillary workers' strike suspended

triangleTower Hamlets Labour backs Tory cuts

triangleBexley bin workers strike for better pay

Government:

triangleTories and Labour fail on child poverty

triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

28/7/21

Colleges

Further education set for industrial action over pay

28/7/21

London

Thousands march to Reclaim Pride

28/7/21

Youth Fight for Jobs

Jobs and homes for all

28/7/21

Sheffield

Sheffield Uni UCU fights archaeological dept closure

28/7/21

Workers

Fight Freeports to stop bonfire of workers' rights

28/7/21

East London

East London resident fighting eviction again

28/7/21

Barnsley

Barnsley 'Big Green Space' protest

28/7/21

Jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs is officially relaunched

28/7/21

Socialist

Selling the Socialist

28/7/21

Socialist

Scottish socialist breaks running record

28/7/21

Capitalism

Flood devastation in Europe

28/7/21

Bin workers

Bexley bin workers strike for better pay

23/7/21

Unison

New left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now

22/7/21

Pay

Public sector pay - Prepare for action!

21/7/21

PCS

Government departments move to impose pay cuts

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999