Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1123/32111

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 March 2021

Public sector workers respond to the budget

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

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

Where is the money for council services?

"The financial outlook is volatile." This (under)statement, in Essex County Council's budget document for 2021, could be the strapline for the future of all local government services.

Last year, Rishi Sunak did what government ministers do in a crisis. He praised the emergency services and 'pledged' a sum of money with lots of noughts on the end.

Councils were told to set up community hubs, deliver food and medication to people shielding, organise test-and-trace support payments, and accommodate all rough sleepers. Councils, already on their knees from years of cuts, but most are yet to see any of the promised additional funds.

Sunak's short-term Covid funding, far from being 'whatever it takes', falls way short of what councils need long term. This year, financial pressures have been compounded by councils losing their usual income from council tax, car parking, business rates due to lockdown measures, and people struggling financially.

Some, like Essex County Council in my area, are dipping into their reserves in order to 'balance the budget' this year. But this still means cuts.

Local government trade unions need to lead a fight to defend jobs, terms and conditions at work, and vital services, and only support councillors who take a stand against cuts.

Eleanor Donne, Unison Basildon local government branch committee (personal capacity)

The chief executive of the local authority that I work for wrote to staff last year to tell us that the in the future the council "will be a smaller, more streamlined organisation", due to financial restraints caused by the pandemic.

My local authority has a 6 million funding gap between the costs incurred during the pandemic and the Tory government shortfall to cover this. Councils up and down the country are affected similarly. Rishi Sunak's budget has not bridged this Covid-19 shortfall.

While adapting my usual job to delivering food supplies to the shielding community during the first lockdown, I came across many homes that had been converted into multiple one-room residences. When I commented on this to a senior council executive, they admitted that they aren't in a position to offer these people suitable accommodation.

Short-term staff contracts aren't generally being extended, including in already short-staffed services. This will lead to even higher workloads and stress for remaining staff, and a worse service provided to the public.

John Dolan, Haringey Unison social care co-convenor (personal capacity)

Why no NHS pay rise?

It comes as no surprise that NHS pay has been missed out of the budget by Rishi Sunak. The unions have submitted their claims to the Pay Review Body. With pressure from below by grassroots campaign NHS Pay 15, Unite and GMB support a 15% pay rise, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) 12.5% and Unison 2,000.

But the Pay Review Body announcement has been delayed until May. Rishi Sunak claims he is waiting for that, but he is hiding behind the timing of it. If the Tories had any intention about addressing patient safety, protecting the NHS and investing in staff, they would have prioritised a pay rise way earlier.

The whole process with the Pay Review Body constitutes an additional layer of bureaucracy in national pay negotiations. It puts a 'middle man' between the government and unions.

The unions have been calling for the government to bring pay talks forward for months. We know poor pay in the NHS is having a direct impact on patient care, due to a chronic shortage of staff.

The government has had plenty of opportunity to invest in the pay rise that exhausted and hardworking staff deserve. In real terms, health workers have had a pay cut of 15%-20% over the last decade.

If restoring our pay isn't prioritised, more staff will leave. Surveys show that as many as one in three are thinking about leaving the NHS due to poor pay and working conditions.

We must be organised, and ready to ballot for industrial action. It is predicted that the government will suggest a pay 'rise' between one and 3.5%. We must be ready to reject this.

Holly Johnston, Nursing sister in oncology (personal capacity)

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 3 March 2021:


Budget

Not a budget for the working class!

Public sector workers respond to the budget


News

President of 'big four' Labour-affiliated trade union joins TUSC committee

Women's health matters


International Women's Day

A fighting programme for women's rights and socialism

A history of International Women's Day


What we think

Liverpool Labour meltdown - Fight for socialist policies


School safety

Schools' safety - teachers demand fighting union strategy


Features

'Casino capitalism' - driving another potential financial Armageddon

1981: New Cross Massacre


Workplace

Bus workers under attack and fighting back

Manchester indefinite bus strike against 'fire and rehire'

HMRC: Pay deal agreed but at what cost?

British Gas strike

Sparks force bosses back but fight continues to stamp out deskilling

Reinstate victimised bus driver Declan Clune

RAF Leeming strike escalates

Tech workers walk out against 'fire and rehire'

Victory for Judith, defend Moe


Campaigns

Why we need socialists in London city hall

Socialist Students conference

Swansea BLM protest against racist police brutality

Union fight to save musicians' livelihoods

Labour surrenders to Tories in Devon

Determined to smash the fighting fund target to fuel election challenge in May


 

Home   |   The Socialist 3 March 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Budget:

triangleRich pickings for private companies - peanuts for health workers

triangleWe need a fighting strategy to win funding from the government - why I'm standing for TUSC

triangleTories keep bailing out bosses, while piling pain on workers and public services

triangleTories keep bailing out bosses, while piling the pain on workers and public services

triangleLabour surrenders to Tories in Devon

Workers:

triangleCouncillors have a choice - don't vote for cuts

triangleBristol Water walkout

triangleMarley Tiles workers strike against bullying bosses

triangleSparks' protest in Cardiff; each week the protest has grown. Sparks are protesting nationally against the role of construction electricians being deskilled. Photo by Rachel Barwell

Public sector:

triangleLessons of the 2011 pensions strike: when workers showed their power

triangleNapo kickstarts fight against pay freeze

triangleUnions must resist return to austerity

Pay:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleElect a socialist leadership to fight for national action and a united campaign

Government:

triangleBrazil: Bolsonaro regime plunges into a deeper crisis

Council:

triangleRight-wing Labour and Tory commissioners out!

NHS:

trianglePay NHS staff 15%

Unions:

triangleWe will not be the lost generation

Cuts:

triangleGMB general secretary election: A fighting, socialist leadership needed

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

7/4/21

Sexism

Sexism in education: It shouldn't be like this!

7/4/21

NEU

Elect a socialist leadership to fight for national action and a united campaign

7/4/21

Racism

Racism exists! Unite to fight all inequality

7/4/21

NHS

Pay NHS staff 15%

7/4/21

Childcare

Childcare in crisis: A socialist solution

7/4/21

GMB

GMB general secretary election: A fighting, socialist leadership needed

7/4/21

Police

Report condones vigil police violence - democratic community control a necessity

7/4/21

Low-paid

Low-paid workers shouldn't pay for Covid crisis

7/4/21

Profit

Pimlico Academy protests: "Run by racists for profit"

7/4/21

Schools

Academy schools have become business ventures

31/3/21

Capitalist

Preparing for the revolts to come

31/3/21

Children

No start for life

31/3/21

Young people

We will not be the lost generation

31/3/21

Shrewsbury 24

Pickets exonerated after almost 50 years

31/3/21

Protest

Job losses, low pay, cuts to services, police violence: For the right to protest

triangleMore News and socialist analysis 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: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


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