NHS and health

Editorials - March 1995

Editorial comments on the ongoing influence of Stalinism in the British labour movement, the need for a campaign to defend the welfare state, and calling for justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

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Health workers to strike again

Author: 

Todd Hamer

Health unions will stage a further four hour strike on 24 November in their ongoing pay dispute.

If we do not win a decent pay settlement and build a union movement capable of defending our already much degraded terms and conditions, then we will have helped speed on the end of the NHS as a free state-of-the art health service.

Since 2010 the NHS has been starved of £20 billion. By 2020 the gap between funding and necessary expenditure will be around £50 billion.

Health unions will stage a further four hour strike on 24 November in their ongoing pay dispute.

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The socialist answer to UKIP

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Editorial

Tory defector Douglas Carswell became UKIP’s first elected MP on 9 October, and another Tory defector, Mark Reckless, may win on 20 November in Rochester and Strood. We examine UKIP’s manifesto.

UKIP: “Migrants are a drain on UK resources, including benefits and NHS”

A socialist response to UKIP's mainfesto.

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Labour's NHS Bill: not good enough

Author: 

Jill Mountford, Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign, personal capacity.

After months of speculation and vague promises Labour's Clive Efford MP has published his NHS (Amended Duties and Powers) Private Members Bill.

Was it worth waiting for? With the political limits of the Labour Party and the practical limits of what a Private Members Bill can achieve it was never going to repeal the 2012 Health and Social Care Act , nor reverse the cuts and privatisation of the NHS. But the Bill does tackle some of the worst bits of the Health and Social Care Act.

After months of speculation and vague promises Labour's Clive Efford MP has published his NHS (Amended Duties and Powers) Private Members Bill.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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NHS staff to strike again

Author: 

Todd Hamer

Health unions have announced a further four hour strike on 24 November in their ongoing pay dispute.

Since 2010 the NHS has been starved of £20 billion. By 2020 the gap between funding and necessary expenditure will be around £50 billion. Last month the new Chief Executive of the NHS Simon Stevens made a spurious claim that with an extra £8 billion investment he could redesign the service and make £22 billion savings by 2020.

Health unions have announced a further four hour strike on 24 November in their ongoing pay dispute.

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How to be more assertive in politics

Author: 

Lawrence Welch

If workers in the NHS (the area I work in) were able to get more insight into how we all respond to “authority” they would be better able to rely on their own skills and knowledge and be more assertive about resisting the current reforms.

My argument (which could be extended to other workers) is that in order to do this it is vital we extend Marx’s micro analysis of the relationship between the worker and the capitalist in the light of advances in psychological theories and therapies.

The commercialisation and privatisation of the National Health Service at the global political level or in local workplace settings triggers feelings of despair and hopelessness, undermining the vital task of building ways of defending a hugely important service.

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Outsourced workers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital strike for equal pay and rights

On 8 October, outsourced workers – cleaners, caterers, switchboard workers, seamstresses, porters and others – employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, South London, struck for the same pay and conditions as directly employed workers.

On 8 October, outsourced workers – cleaners, caterers, switchboard workers, seamstresses, porters and others – employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, South London, struck for the same pay and conditions as directly employed workers.

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Industrial news in brief

Tube cleaners employed by contractor ISS have returned to work, after a months-long lock out.

Workers were locked out of work without pay for refusing to use biometric fingerprinting machines.

ISS, which has a history of using immigration law against its mainly-migrant workforce, had openly admitted that the data collected would be shared with the UK Border Agency.

The locked-out cleaners have been given a number of options, including returning to work on alternative contracts without biometric fingerprinting.

Tube cleaners return to work; Cambridgeshire NHS services saved from privatisation; Newcastle Sure Start cuts; construction workers ballot over pay.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Gerry Bates and Jonny West

Two hundred GMB members employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, South London have voted for strikes to end two-tier conditions in NHS.

The dispute is for the same pay rates, weekend enhancements and unsocial hours rates as the staff directly employed by the Trust.

The GMB members are employed as cleaners, security, ward hostesses, caterers, on the switchboard and as porters.

On 23 September GMB organised a protest outside the bondholders meeting of the PFI operator for the hospital.

Woolwich hospital dispute; NUT survey; construction workers’ wild-cat action wins better toilets; housing charity ballot; UCU pension ballot; Tube disputes.

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Andy Burnham put on the spot

Author: 

Gemma Short

On 21 September over 200 NHS campaigners from across the country gathered outside Labour Party conference in Manchester.

We lobbied to demand Labour make serious commitments to rebuilding the NHS.

Andy Burnham, shadow health secretary, was spotted going into the conference centre and persuaded to come speak to the crowd.

On 21 September over 200 NHS campaigners from across the country gathered outside Labour Party conference in Manchester.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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