Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1127/32294
From The Socialist newspaper, 31 March 2021
NHS pay: 15% now!
Photo: London SP (Click to enlarge)
Despite government ministers dishing out billions of pounds in dodgy PPE contracts to their chums, loans to bosses, and £37 billion on a largely failed test-and-trace system, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has offered a measly 1% pay rise to overworked health workers. And for other public sector workers earning modest wages, he has imposed yet another pay freeze.
Along with higher council tax, reductions in Universal Credit, and the freezing of income tax thresholds, it's been estimated that NHS families could be over £1,000 a year worse off. What a kick in the teeth for health workers, over 850 of whom have died from Covid-19 during the year-long pandemic.
And instead of ensuring adequate PPE, good pay, and a larger workforce, all the government seems to do is to encourage the public to 'show their love for the NHS', 'light a candle', or 'applaud' health workers. But all those public expressions of support for the NHS won't pay health workers' rents or mortgages, or the ever-rising utility bills.
Labour has criticised the inadequacy of the government's 1% pay rise but all Keir Starmer seems to be offering is a paltry 2.1% - which was promised back in 2019! Even the austerity-lite Scottish National Party government in Scotland has offered a 4% rise.
Clearly, none of the establishment parties are offering anything meaningful to workers and their families - a reason to support the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition electoral alternative this May.
But in the meantime, the leaders of trade unions representing health workers and the wider working class, must step up to the plate and push forward the demand for a full 15% pay rise to make up for years of inadequate NHS pay rises. At the same time, they must draw up a coordinated battle plan, including strike action, to secure what workers need.
Such a step would enjoy overwhelming public support and serve as a springboard for all those workers elsewhere facing 'fire-and-rehire' ultimatums, savage wage cuts, and redundancies from the bosses, to fight back.
- An immediate 15% pay rise for all health and care staff
- Unions must organise for strike action
- Reverse privatisation. Scrap the Private Finance Initiative. Cancel PFI debt. Bring all outsourced workers and services in-house on permanent contracts
- A fully publicly funded NHS and care system, free at the point of use
- A socialist NHS - democratically run by elected committees, including service workers and users
- We can't trust pro-privatisation, pro-austerity, anti-working-class politicians. For a new mass workers' party
Donate to the Socialist Party
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.
In The Socialist 31 March 2021:
Mobilise Liverpool workers to defy Tory commissioners and austerity
London - We need socialists into City Hall
Warning: Labour Party cutters - careful who you phone!
Domestic Abuse Bill: So much still to fight for
We will not be the lost generation
Shrewsbury pickets exonerated after almost 50 years
'Chingford skinhead' spills the beans over government surveillance of union activists
Freeports spell deregulation, low pay and a new race to the bottom
No start for life
Right to protest
Unite and fight - For the right to protest
Defending the right to protest
Preparing for the revolts to come
Cumberland hospital workers fight for stolen pay
NHS pay: 15% now!
Trade union fighters rally to support victimised workers
BT Openreach engineers step up the pressure with five-day strike action
Asda equal pay ruling victory - now fight for equal pay for all
SPS Technologies workers strike against potential pay loss of £3,000 a year
Deskilling protests by sparks electricians continue
Beal academy strikers demand equal sick pay
Goodlord strike starts to bite
Nationalise Liberty Steel to save jobs
British Gas workers strike ahead of 'fire and rehire' deadline
Reports & campaigns
Online rally - 150 years since the Paris Commune
Selling the Socialist
Donate now to fuel our election campaigns
Football abuse scandal: Reclaim the game for justice and democracy
Socialist Liverpool City Council inspired me
Women, violence and defiance
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 31 March 2021 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook