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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 March 2006

Stop the NHS jobs massacre

IN THE last few days, more than 4,000 health service jobs have been threatened, including those of doctors and nurses. Thousands more could follow. 1,200 of the job cuts already announced are in Stoke. This report shows how to build the campaign to stop these savage cuts in the NHS.

ON 22 MARCH, angry health workers met to launch a campaign to defend the NHS in North Staffs from the attempted butchery of 1,200 jobs and 160 beds at our University Hospital. The meeting was organised by the local Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP).

Andy Bentley

Out of the more than 100 who attended the meeting at very short notice, 80 were NHS workers who were incensed at these latest attacks. All those present voted to launch a campaign to defend our NHS.

Local New Labour MPs have spoken only of money to retrain staff and the New Labour-controlled city council has been virtually silent.

If left to New Labour locally we will have JobCentre workers under threat of redundancy directing NHS workers, who now face the sack, to apply for jobs on the council - where they want compulsory redundancies. Or they could send them to Stoke-on-Trent College to be retrained by lecturers, 155 of whom are to be sacked!

But NHS workers and people in North Staffs don't want New Labour's jobs merry-go-round madhouse. They want action to defend our NHS services!

A petition launched by Stoke Socialist Party has already collected over 2,000 names. Socialist Party councillors Dave and Paul Sutton have ensured that, despite resistance from New Labour councillors, the decision to slash jobs inspired by the government and announced by hospital management will be 'called in' to the city council's scrutiny commission which has the power to refer them to the health minister.

This will take place on Monday 10 April in the Civic Centre in Stoke. We want NHS workers and local people to attend a protest outside this meeting to show our anger and opposition.

We are now building for a march and rally through the city which will take place on 29 April and will be linking up with other NHS defence campaigns nationally.

We are demanding an immediate injection of 15 million from the government to make up the shortfall and prevent the job losses and inevitable reduction in quality of patient care. The government plans to build a new hospital in North Staffs by using private money. It will cost 50 million to build but taxpayers will actually pay 150 million over 25 years to swell the profits of a private company.

This new hospital should be built with public funding instead, which will save up to 100 million. This is more than enough to stop the cuts.

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Finance appeal

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.
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In The Socialist 30 March 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Stop the NHS jobs massacre

New Labour's NHS lies

Call for NHS demo gets support

Huddersfield trust votes for cuts - but campaign gets stronger

Save jobs and beds at the Royal Free


Pensions

Britain - Over one million strike for pension rights...

'Time for a new working-class party'


International socialist news and analysis

France - millions march for job security

USA: Millions march for immigrant workers' rights

Ukraine's 'orange revolution' goes pear-shaped

Will ETA's strategy lead to Basque national rights?


Socialist Party review

Paradise Now

Gordon's global gurus


Socialist Party campaigns

Why socialists oppose state funding of political parties

Local council services are still worth fighting for

Council elections: Great response in Lewisham

Stoke UNISON prepares for action against cuts

Strong support for minimum wage demand

Lambeth College students launch campaign against cuts

Save chemistry - sack the vice-chancellor!


 

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