Stand by our NHS

NHS-Kevin-Maguire-cartoon
Today marks the start of ‘Britain needs a pay rise’ campaign by unions, lead valiantly by our under appreciated NHS staff who today took the unwanted decision to strike.

This morning for the first time in 30 years we will see paramedics, nurses, midwives and doctors take strike action for 4 hours as Westminster deemed our NHS staff not to be worthy of the below inflation public sector pay rise of 1%. This comes at a time when reports have shown that, despite living in a time of relative economic prosperity, wage repression today is on par with Victorian times. The NHS stand out in the cold, wind and rain begging for something that should have been given whilst David Cameron, George Osborne and the rest of the MPs complicit in this structured dismantling of public services gorge themselves in the warmth at Westminster. They should stand disgraced.

Pay is not the only Victorian social ill we have today as we are also witnessing the return of rickets in our children through malnourishment. A damning consequence of the ideological austerity running throughout this country.

In the last week I spoke with a care nurse who explained in-depth the lengths with which management teams were going to discourage workers from engaging in their lawful right to withdraw their labour. They have been told that they cannot picket, cannot walk with placards, with other carefully worded emails all designed to scare the workforce. Clear examples of corporate level bullying and harassment that we have come across and been made aware of throughout a number of professions on a much more frequent basis than you would imagine.

The clear agenda behind wage repression within the public sector is the desire to privatise it. Two key barriers to privatisation are staff terms and conditions and pension liabilities. This comes directly from a government think tank on outsourcing and privatisation and it is something we should all be very concerned about.

When we discuss privatisation of our health care we automatically think of the American system but we do not have to go as far as that to find alarming examples. In Ireland they do not have a national health service and a recent trip there highlighted to me just how dangerous the privatisation of our NHS will be to us. An average 2.4 children family explained how it cost €100 to go to A&E without a referral from your GP, it costs €50 to see your GP and you must have medical cover if you wish to see your GP in the same calendar year and that costs €2000 a year for the four of them. I was shocked. In my ignorance I had just assumed that the NHS was a model adopted by the Irish and makes me all the more concerned about the future of the NHS for today’s children. They will be the ones left paying the price for our inaction.

So today’s strike is an important step in the future fight against privatisation which is already on our doorstep, if they break the NHS staffs resolve over a 1% pay rise then all else will be given. If they think that the people who depend on the NHS do not care then the attacks will be relentless until their resolve is broken. It is not just their fight today, it is all of our fight. The NHS saved our lives at our births and will fight for us time and again between now and when we die. The least we can do is #StandByOurNHS in its hour of need.

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You still could not make it up

Animals more equal than others

THE VILLAINOUS  bully, Jeremy Hunt, this week pulled his snout from out of the trough long enough to tell our wonderful NHS workers that they would not be receiving a 1% pay rise and that they would be subject to performance related pay. Performance related pay….

This must be some kind of sick joke if we look at other industries, their pay rises and the issue of performance;

Queen gets £5M pay rise (but still ended up this year down to her last million!!)
Bankers Bonuses up 44% (on top of their 35% pay increase!!!)
FTSE 100 directors get 14% pay rise
MPs pay rise 11%
British Gas prices up 9.2% (despite £20m profits on over inflated bills)
Minimum Wage up 19p (but you’re still sharing 1 job with 3 people and/or watching the phone to ring on a zero hour contract)
Nurses pay up 0%
Teachers pay -3%

Don’t even ask about the police or fire service. You could not make it up.

Nurses, doctors, teachers, police and firefighters are being hung out to dry so that these corrupt politicians can keep their billionaire mates in the life they have been accustom too. Wealth does not ‘trickle down’, no, it quite clearly bubbles up to the top. Bankers, on top of their 35% pay increase, have been receiving a 44% increase in bonuses, with firms such as RBS for example receiving over £500m in bonuses DESPITE LOSING another £8.6bn and the last of the £46bn of taxpayers money given to them in 2008 as part of the bailout process. Where is their performance related pay, as shareholders we should be holding them to account! Banking terrorists and the economic wage slave mates do not get performance related pay, just the miracle workers in the NHS.

Jeremy Hunt has also threatened the loss of 6000 nurses if they were to receive the 1% pay rise, leaving the unions within the NHS no choice but to consult their staff on a ballot for strike action. I hope they seriously consider this action and if they take the brave steps to enter into industrial dispute with these ideologically driven MP’s and their pursuit for more of our life blood, that we fight tooth and nail to support our amazing NHS staff, as they have fought for our lives from cradle to grave.