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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 January 2008

Derby nurses fight management attacks

More than 100 Unison members and their families packed a meeting to protest at threatened pay cuts to Derby nurses. The threats affect all Derby's hospitals but surgical staff are most severely hit.

Graham Lewis, Long Eaton trades council

Nurses were sent application forms to reapply for their own jobs on 7 January, returnable by the following Friday!

Non-reply would automatically reduce them by one pay band and the notice warned them of demotion by a second band if they didn't 'win' the application for their own post.

Workers at the meeting were angry that experience and qualifications taking years of study are not 'valued', as management used to claim. The management letter made it clear that people whose skills 'were not used' would not remain in post.

Many at the meeting were shocked to find newly qualified nurses would only start on band 4 instead of 5 - but still be responsible for patients. Coupled with 'unused skills' not counting towards pay bands this is a shocking disincentive to study and improve the quality of nursing.

One nurse commented: "I might as well work at Tesco". There was disbelief that management had not informed the union and anger that a 90-day consultation had been cut to 30 days and procedure disregarded for surgical staff.

Gary Freeman, a Unison branch member and a Socialist Party member got applause for calling for an injunction to stop 'threatening letters' from going ahead and industrial action if management did not halt their plans.

The vote to include this in the branch strategy was unanimous.

Firefighters and Rolls Royce engineers were in the audience so an opportunity exists to build a united campaign.

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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.

  • 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.
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In The Socialist 17 January 2008:

Fight for a living wage

Burslem: Support victimised postal workers

Editorial: Fight three year low pay tie-ins


Environment and socialism

Stop nuclear power plans NOW!

Is the burning of fossil fuels causing climate change?


Sleaze

Hain's sorry saga of sleaze

Blair's rewards from big business


Anti-Cuts campaigns

Fire cuts threat to our public safety

Cardiff schools campaign grows


Housing Crisis

Nationalise Northern Rock - permanently

Growing crisis in housing


Socialist Party news

Save our post offices

Salford says: "Don't close our women's centre"

'Them and Us': news shorts


Trade unions

Feature: Building the shop stewards' movement


Socialist Party campaigning

Ideas for campaigning and fundraising


International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka: New year starts with atrocities

Biggest miners' underground occupation in Polish history


Socialist Party review

Review: More Time for Politics, Diaries 2001-2007, by Tony Benn


Socialist Party workplace news

Reinstate Karen Reissman - defend mental health services!

Derby nurses fight management attacks

Liverpool: City of Cuts

Vote Jim Cessford


 

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