Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1124/32139
From The Socialist newspaper, 10 March 2021
NHS pay - 15% now
Demanding a 15% pay rise for NHS workers, 8th August 2020, Merthyr (Click to enlarge)
Trade unions must organise for strike action
Staff are outraged. 1%, or an extra £3.50 a week for an experienced nurse, is not just a slap in the face for NHS workers, it's a pay cut compared to the cost of living.
Boris Johnson and the government promised the NHS would have all the resources it needed to fight Covid. Instead, they handed over billions to their mates for hopeless test-and-trace and PPE contracts. Staff have risked their lives with inadequate or expired PPE.
The NHS workers Boris Johnson praised for saving his life in intensive care, the ones all the Tory ministers publicly clapped, who lost colleagues and have not got over the trauma and exhaustion of fighting the second wave, are now being stabbed in the front by the government.
What the government fails to realise is that the most valuable commodity in the NHS is the people who work for it. Without them, nothing would function.
The threat of strike action by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is exactly what is needed to force a real pay rise for NHS staff. Other unions must get on board with this, and start to seriously build a campaign for coordinated strike action.
Make this the next U-turn
This arrogant government has been forced into so many U-turns, let's make NHS pay the next one!
Tories say, 'how dare NHS staff demand a pay increase when so many have lost their jobs or taken a cut in pay?' We say this despicable divide and rule must not succeed.
But the question is real. NHS staff must also build support for the campaign for a 15% pay rise by reaching out in solidarity to other workers in the public and private sector, supporting a proper pay rise for all.
MPs vote for their own payrises, and their salary of £81,932 puts them in the top 5% of earners in the country. Many of them claim more in expenses than most NHS staff could hope to earn.
The Covid pandemic has shown many things. That the sacrifice and exhaustion of keyworkers would be exploited by the government and bosses, who only think of lining their own pockets. That the people who keep society running in care, transport, food, retail, education and the NHS are badly undervalued by those that run society. And that we need fundamental change in the way society is run.
A strike by NHS staff would be about so much more than pay. It would be about people refusing to accept the 'old normal' of exploitation, privatisation and cuts, and starting to look for a real alternative. We are ready.
NHS worker in London
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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.
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.
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- 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.
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In The Socialist 10 March 2021:
NHS pay - 15% now
NHS workers say: We are ready to fight Tory pay insult
Police disgracefully stop NHS pay protest
Super-deduction will help big business pay less tax
The 'old normal' meant poverty for young people
What we think
Tories keep bailing out bosses, while piling pain on workers and public services
Workers respond to 'back to school'
British Gas strikers reject deal and carry on fighting
Goodlord striker speaks out: 'workers have to fight for our skills to be appreciated'
Stop union busting on the buses: Reinstate Declan Clune and Moe Muhsin Manir
Sparks deskilling protests
Leicester university workers ballot for action against redundancies
Sainsbury's pay offer shows future will only be 'great pay' if we fight
PCS leadership failures lead to concession bargaining on pay
Manchester bus drivers' indefinite strikers fight on
London bus drivers continue walkout
150th anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg's birth
Would a wealth tax end poverty and inequality?
Socialist women speak at inspirational International Women's Day online rally
Why I joined the Socialist Party - to fight for the future of the working class
Why I'm standing for TUSC
Build subscriptions to the Socialist
Fighting fund target achieved - keep up the momentum
Historic union battle at Alabama warehouse
10 years ago - the Fukushima nuclear disaster: "We came close to losing northern Japan"
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