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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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.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Burnham: put your words into action

Author: 

Gerry Bates

Andy Burnham once again repeated his promise to “repeal the Tory Health and Social Care Act” if Labour win the next election.

Burnham was speaking from the platform at the 6 September Trafalgar Square rally of the People’s March for the NHS. It is good that Burnham makes the promise to repeal the Act publicly, but it is not enough.

When Burnham was Health Secretary under the last Labour government he backed the recommendations of Sir David Nicholson, the chief executive of the NHS, to make £20 billion “efficiency savings” by 2015.

A return simply to pre-2010 status for the NHS is not enough.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Four hour strike in NHS not enough

Author: 

A South London health worker

Last week’s Solidarity carried an article that argued “a four hour walk out [on 14 October] is a good tactic in the NHS [as a starting point]” and “It is vital that discussions on strike tactics are held at workplace level where union members know what action can be most effective”. I disagree.

Unison’s leadership are worried about low turnout and unnecessary deaths on a strike day. They have attempted to solve these problem by proposing a four-hour stoppage. They hope healthworkers will be more likely to strike for half a day and it will be less risky for patients.

Many nurses still believe that it is illegal for nurses to strike and the Unison leadership has done nothing to dispel this myth. It has failed to set out a clear strategy for safe but effective strike action in the NHS.

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Survey

A round up of news from WL36

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Articles:

Scotrail workers take on union bosses
Glenroy Watson, rank and file challenge
The GMB's friends in the north
Chinese dissident jailed
London Hospital crisis
Postal workers: don't throw the vote away!
German trade unionists say 'we are not alone'
Class struggle in Germany
Racist backlash in Australia
US labor builds

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Around the world: 

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Transport from London to Manchester NHS Lobby at Labour Party Conference

On Sunday 21 September, we will be lobbying Labour Party conference for a clear commitment on saving the National Health Service.

See Facebook event and the blog for the Lobby

We'll be taking at least one minibus from London. The price will be £18 waged, £9 unwaged.

Times to be confirmed asap but we'll be leaving early Sunday morning and coming back Sunday night.

If you'd like to come contact Liam McNulty on liammcnulty24@hotmail.com

On Sunday 21 September, we will be lobbying Labour Party conference for a clear commitment on saving the National Health Service.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Push Labour to save the NHS

Seventy per cent of the £13 billion NHS contracts negotiated last year were given to private providers. This is an unprecedented sell off, of the staff, resources and bricks and mortar that make up our National Health Service.

The scale, and pace of the change is staggering. From “111 helpline” to maternity services, diabetes management to stoma care and even sexual assault services and palliative care, little is safe from market forces. And with real-terms cuts to the overall budget and efficiency savings of over £20 billion to be made, the NHS is being cut to the bone.

Seventy per cent of the £13 billion NHS contracts negotiated last year were given to private providers, an unprecedented sell off, of the staff, resources and bricks and mortar that make up our National Health Service.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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