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AFTER A FANTASTIC NHS
STRIKE: STEP UP ACTION
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Health 151014
M
ONDAYS NHS STRIKE SAW
hundreds of thousands of health
workers taking on the Tories
over their insulting pay offer. And what
an incredible show of strength it was.
Across the country there were impressive
picket lines, many with up to 50 or more.
Despite the downpour, they were lively
and bouyant. What a fantastic start. Now we
need a serious campaign of escalating action
to defend the NHS and stop the pay assault.
The action this week was strong because
many health workers felt positive about their
unions doing something to fght back.
NHS workers are under the cosh with
workload as a result of the Tories
50 billion NHS cuts, closures and
privatisation. This isnt just a fght for health
workersits for the future of our NHS.
Thats why Mondays strike provided a
focus for the whole movement, with other
sections of our communities and trade union
movement turning up with collections from
workplaces, breakfast goodies and solidarity.
The political impact of an NHS strike is
massive. The Tories assault on the NHS has
enraged millions who want to support those
fghting to save it.
The next step after the successful strike is
to build on the momentum with more action.
November
Already unions have talked about another
strike, followed again by a week of action
short of strike, in November.
This is good. We have to organise now
to make sure it takes place. Its vital that in
every NHS workplace and union branch,
members organise to push union leaders to
name the next date for action.
Then we can recruit to the unions and
build a visible, mass campaign to get even
more health workers out.
Some say the best way to fght austerity
is to get Labour elected. But we cant rely
on Labour. Its good that they say they will
oppose the unprecedented privatisation
threatened by the Transatlantic Trade
Investment Partnership (TTIP).
We need to keep campaigning to keep up
pressure to hold them to this.
But Labour have signed up to austerity
and pay cuts. During 13 years in
government, Labours PFIs have bankrupted
hospitals, leading to huge cuts.
Our unions need to make the NHS a
central issue in 2015 around the election.
Escalating strikes over pay is central
to this. Attacks on NHS pay are about
preparing the health service for privatisation,
to make the sell off as proftable as possible
for the Tories big business chums.
The strength of the NHS strike refects the
rage many feel over whats happening to the
service we all work so hard to provide.
Saturday
And its not just the NHSthe Tories are
coming for the whole public sector.
Theyve slashed our pensions, now
theyre attacking pay across the board, and
they wont stop there.
Thats why this week has also seen a
national strike by hundreds of thousands
of PCS members who are facing attacks
on pay, cuts and privatisation too. And the
week will be topped off with two huge
demonstrations this Saturday in London and
Glasgow called by the TUC and STUC.
But this weeks action would have been
stronger if local government unions had not
suspended the strike planned for 14 October.
Many members in local government are
angered by the decision.
The new proposal is effectively no more
than a shuffing around of the original 1
percent offer.
It was a mistake to call off the action.
Activists are now arguing for the proposal to
be rejected and to get the strikes back on.
Underlines
This underlines the need to get organised
in branches and workplaces, to ensure that
unions in health dont pull back from the
action before we have won real movement.
This is a fght we can win. The Tories
decision to attack workers pay everywhere
can unify resistance.
The strike of 1.5 million on 10 July gave
a glimmer of the potential for a united
resistance to the Tories that can beat them.
A November strike by health unions can
provide a focus for others, such as teachers,
frefghters and civil service workers, to push
inside their unions to get behind.
But its critical that activists now use the
momentum to strengthen organisation at the
base of the union so we can keep up pressure
for a strategy that can win.
We cant just wait for Labour, we need to keep fghting...
NHS strikers marching round their hospital
UNITE THE RESISTANCE
STRIKING
TOGETHER
Organising to win conference
Speakers include: Unison Care UK strikers, Support
Stafford Hospital campaign, NHS strikers, Matt Wrack
FBU frefghters general secretary, John McDonnell
MP, US fast food strikers and many more.
The conference has plenaries and workshops,
including: Where next for the fght to save the NHS?
Saturday 15 November, 12-5pm
Bloomsbury Baptist Church, central London.
Book up online at uniteresist.org