Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1143/32850
Unite to fight Tory pay insults
Build for strike action
Holly Johnson, Sheffield NHS workers say No!
The Tories' 3% pay offer is a direct attack on the NHS. It shows the contempt the government has for the health service and its staff. 3% is simply not enough, and makes it clear that the government does not intend to invest in the future of the NHS.
Staff are exhausted and burnt out, but the mood is changing again to one of anger, of wanting to see change and being prepared to fight for it.
We will not stand back and accept this paltry offer. After all, we have had up to £9,000 cut from our pay in real terms over the last decade. We are not going away. We have been preparing for a year to respond to this 'award'. Thousands of NHS workers have mobilised and are ready for action, built from the bottom up. Now is the time for the leadership of our unions to act and ballot for industrial action to reject the 3%.
We need to keep pressure on our union leaderships, and push them to act. We must turn them into the fighting unions we need them to be. We need to see clear and decisive leadership to show we are prepared to strike.
We need public support to smash down attempts by the government to divide public sector workers, we need to fight together. All of the public sector unions need to step up their fights, reject the pay freezes and insulting awards, call for a joint campaign, and prepare for coordinated strike action.
The Tories say they can't afford our demand for 15% for NHS workers, that this will cost £5 billion. But the cost of the failed test-and-trace scheme is already £37 billion. The cost of an NHS and public sector pay rise should be fully funded by the government. Make the super-rich who have profited from the pandemic pay.
Enough is enough, we will not stand back and let the appalling treatment of the NHS and its staff continue. We will fight it all the way.
The fight for our pay is a fight for our NHS, for our patients, ourselves and our class. We cannot do it without public support, so I urge each and every one of you to join and support the fight for the NHS.
In The Socialist 28 July 2021:
Public sector pay