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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 October 2020

NHS workers

Furious and Fighting

Demanding a 15% pay rise for NHS workers, 8th August 2020, Merthyr

Demanding a 15% pay rise for NHS workers, 8th August 2020, Merthyr   (Click to enlarge)

For a 15% pay rise - For a fully funded NHS

Failed by a Covid testing catastrophe. Left to face the pandemic in underfunded, understaffed hospitals. NHS staff have been handed a real-terms pay cut, by the same Tory MPs that have given themselves a pay rise. As hospital admissions rise in the developing second wave, it is vital more than ever that we fight for a fully funded and fully public NHS.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the government has handed out billions to private companies making a profit from the health service. A mass recruitment campaign is needed, with workers employed in-house and with a substantial pay rise. NHS workers are furious and fighting back, organising with their trade unions, and with the support of their communities and Socialist Party campaigners.

Xylina Hogan has been campaigning with Suffolk NHS Pay Justice Hub

We were all angered by the news that MPs would be due a pay rise of over 3,000, while NHS staff are left with nothing but claps. These claps soon turned into contempt when we asked for public sector pay equality from the government.

NHS staff under 'Agenda for Change' have suffered a real-terms pay cut of 20% over the past decade. Due to ever-rising housing costs and inflation, we are now seeing NHS staff struggling to cover the basic costs of living, and burning out. We are expected to care, as that is our code, but who will care for us? Who will care for our beloved NHS?

Tory health secretary Matt Hancock has said that, although he is "sympathetic" to our cause, now is not the time to discuss a pay increase for NHS staff. I would ask Matt: Why is it acceptable to discuss your pay if now is not the right time for us? Didn't he say we are "in this together"?

We attempted to visit Matt Hancock's office last month. However, the land owner of the property threatened to have us, a small group of six hard-working, dedicated NHS staff, arrested. These are the very same people who clapped for us. Now they threaten us with the police. It's absolutely mind-blowing how quickly this government has turned on us.

MPs do not understand just how furious we are. Covid, awful working conditions, and a total disregard for the sacrifices NHS staff have had to make during the pandemic, have now caused staff to question whether or not this is a profession they would like to remain in.

We cannot sit back and do nothing while MPs continue to line their pockets. Some of our staff are having to visit food banks to get by. This is totally unacceptable and we, with our unions, will not stand for it. The majority of our group's members are willing to strike if the government refuses to engage. We simply cannot go on like this.

The Socialist Party demands:

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Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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 special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 21 October 2020:


Lockdown

Health before profit - Work or full pay

Wales 'firebreak' lockdown fails to protect workers

Liverpool lockdown: suspicion and anger

Newcastle lockdown: stress and breakdowns

Leicester lockdown: disillusionment and anger


Unison

Why the Socialist Party is backing Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary


International

Nigeria protests: 'This movement needs to fight the whole rotten capitalist system'

Horrific murder in Paris: fight intolerance and racism!

South Africa: Mass day of action for permanent jobs and a living wage


News

Tories reduce winter homeless funding: reverse the cuts,use the empty homes!

World capitalism's terrified strategists abandon austerity - for now


Coronavirus

Test and Trace U-turn on stopping local case reporting

Oxbridge gets private Covid tests: pool resources to test us all!

Millennials disillusioned with 'democracy'

Under the microscope


Workplace

RMT: Programme to fight redundancies and cuts

Action on Covid transmission in schools now

FCC dismiss Unison activist Tony Smith

Optare workers strike over pay broken 'promise'

Solidarity with Deliveroo Couriers in York


Campaigns

NHS workers

Students: Give us our money back

Fight for your future at the online rally

Southampton: Coxford community condemns racist attack

Socialism 2020: Will you help our finance appeal?

Selling the Socialist: increase in NHS anger

Truth about Zane: Cover-up Tories crack

Kent: Chaotic privatised asylum process

Teignmouth hospital closure threat ... again!


Readers' opinion

Books that inspired me: For Whom the Bell Tolls

Beware the billionaires bearing gifts

Disabled students let down by "rotten education system"

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

NHS:

trianglePPE contracts: It pays to have friends in high places

triangleStop the Tories putting profit before health

triangleSelling the Socialist

triangleStop Leicester hospital closure

triangleBirmingham NHS porters' 48-hour strike against shift changes

Pay:

triangleHeathrow workers to strike against 'fire and rehire' plans

triangleCovid crisis: "We won't pay the price"

triangleHugo Pierre, a candidate in Unison's general secretary election, speaking at Socialism 2020, 21st November 2020

triangleWomen workers need strong trade unions to defend their jobs, pay and services

Health:

triangleCovid, vaccines, 'big pharma' - and the need for socialism

triangleSave St Andrews mental health ward

triangleFurloughed worker speaks out: Let down by insecure contracts

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