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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 July 2021

Fight is on to save our NHS

Marching in London on 3 July, including Naomi Byron (right), photo Paul Mattsson

Marching in London on 3 July, including Naomi Byron (right), photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Thousands of NHS workers, in dozens of towns and cities, protested on Saturday 3 July against the Tories' insulting 1% pay offer. Just days later, on 5 July, it was announced that workers in the NHS will be awarded the George Cross medal. Not something that will pay the bills for the thousands of nurses who are forced to visit food banks.

And then, the next day, the government presented its health and care bill in parliament, spelling out plans for further privatisation and even less democratic oversight of our NHS.

Socialist Party member Naomi Byron joined others outside parliament as the bill was presented. She has recently been elected as a member of health union Unison's national executive council and spoke in a personal capacity.

"I believe that parts of this bill are an enormous threat to our NHS, particularly its further break-up, and the extension of privatisation. I'm calling on all trade unions to support the campaign to oppose the bill. And I hope that my union will take a lead on this by calling a protest outside parliament on a day that it is debated, and by calling a national demonstration in the autumn to defend our NHS."

"On the issue of NHS pay, the Pay Review Body has reported its recommendation to the government, and the government is due to make its offer in the next couple of weeks. If they offer less than what all the health trade unions and our movement for an NHS pay rise are calling for, I believe that all health unions must immediately ballot their members on the offer, and campaign strongly for members to reject it."

"If members do reject the pay offer, we should follow this up with a strike ballot and a massive campaign for members to vote 'yes' for action. And in any action resulting from these ballots, I hope all unions in the health sector will try to coordinate, and also coordinate with workers in other sectors fighting their own insulting pay offers."

See also: NHS workers' protests

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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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In The Socialist 7 July 2021:


What we think

Batley & Spen byelection: Another condemnation of Starmer's New Labour


NHS

Fight is on to save our NHS

NHS workers' protests


News

Fund the measures needed to stop the Covid spread in schools

Manchester death rate caused by deprivation

Bristol: Police to blame for protest violence


Workplace news

Royal London Hospital strike win - Serco backs down and offers major concessions

Morrisons private equity takeover proposals - Usdaw needs to move to a war footing

Safety campaign in DWP: What has happened to our ballot?

Striking Brush workers continue to protest 'fire and rehire'

Striking Ealing parking attendants rally outside council

Derby academies closed by strikes against brutal cuts and changes

Oaks Park strikers rally


The Struggle for World Socialism

The struggle for world socialism


Socialist history

Terry Fields MP, Prisoner DV 3695 - The jailing of 'poll tax' rebel and Militant


International news

COP26: Socialist change to end the climate crisis

Israel: Hospital ancillary workers strike over pay parity and workload


Campaigns news

Rising against a rigged and rotten system

Why did I choose the Socialist Party?

Housing: Join the service charge 'strike'

Stop environmental destruction in Barnsley

"It's great to be back": Come to a Socialist Party in-person meeting

We need funds to fight Tory NHS attacks

Road closures: Hackney residents have not been consulted


Reviews

The story of Joe Clough - Britain's first black bus driver

Exhibition: What next for the statue of slave trader, Edward Colston?

TV - Statue wars: one summer in Bristol


 

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Related links:

NHS:

triangleWe need funds to fight Tory NHS attacks

triangleNHS workers' protests

triangleEast London Socialist Party: A socialist programme for the NHS

triangleSouth London Socialist Party: Pay the NHS workers

triangleTories deliver second slap in the face to NHS workers

Pay:

triangleIsrael: Hospital ancillary workers strike over pay parity and workload

triangleWhy did I choose the Socialist Party?

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: Fair pay for NHS and care workers

triangleCarlisle Socialist Party: How to win the pay claim and rebuild the NHS

Health:

triangleRoyal London Hospital

triangleWe don't want a USA-style healthcare system

triangleFight the health and care bill

Unions:

trianglePost-pandemic railway battles loom

triangleInterview with newly elected Unison NEC member

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