Monday, 13 October 2014

The Health Service Strike!

Solidarity with the Health Workers!

It's a miserable, wet, cold, rainy October morning.

It sucks.

So I've been off to our local Hospitals to say a quick 'hallo' and give my solidarity to my Brothers and Sisters in the Health Service who are on strike today.

This is the picket line at St. Peter's Hospital, Chertsey;

It's organised by the main Health Unions (UNISON and my own Mighty Unite! union) and it involves Nurses, the Royal College of Midwives, the Ambulance drivers and paramedics as well as the vital Care Assistants who have the worst jobs to do and keep everything working.

This is the picket line at Ashford Hospital, braving the dreadful weather;

There's a four hour strike this morning and then for the rest of the week it's an old fashioned 'work to rule' - the health workers are insisting that they get to take their breaks and lunches instead of having to work through them.

The government's own Pay Review Board awarded these low paid workers a measly 1% increase - they haven't had a pay rise that has kept up with inflation since 2009.

Then the health minister refused to give them the money, restricting the rise to the highest paid workers only.

Enough is enough!

For patients like me, this erosion of the workers standard of living is dangerous and coupled with all the hospital closures and mergers it's a disaster; the whole idea is to soften up the NHS so that it's easy to privatise and sell off a service that is so essential to millions of people like me.

The effect of paying staff wages they cannot live on is to increase staff turnover, force workers into moonlighting with second and third jobs and to put patient safety at risk.

We had a world class NHS - it's time to tax those who can most afford it to pay for it and to properly fund an NHS for all of us.

Solidarity with the Health Workers!

Neil Harris

(a don't stop till you drop production)


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