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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 April 2015

Working in the NHS

Low pay, cuts and stress

Nurse specialist and GMB member, Sheffield

As an NHS worker I feel as though I have been hit from all directions for the last five years. The nursing unions Unison and RCN have accepted this year's paltry 1% pay rise.

We have not seen a pay rise in line with living cost increases for the last five years. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt pointed to the increments we all receive. But he forgot to mention that to receive these payments we take on more responsibility. Nurses are now taking on jobs that were once those of junior doctors.

They want to take unsocial hours payments from us. As somebody who worked seven out of eight bank holidays last year and has had only two Christmas days in 19 years when both my wife and I have not been working, I have no doubt that our hours are unsocial.

We have had to work harder and longer due to cuts. I know of a nurse suffering mental health problems due to work related stress. Most leave shifts late and change their shifts with little notice to cover illness.

We're left short of nurses because some are sent to cover other wards. Beds that have been shut are forced to open again to cope with increased demand. Experienced staff are being replaced by inexperienced staff on a lower pay scale to cut costs.

The top down reorganisation of the NHS means that GPs hold the purse strings. The internal market is the biggest mistake in heathcare. Private clinics and hospitals provide space for elective surgery to go ahead. This just puts public money into a private purse.

The NHS has its problems, but many are working to improve services in an almost impossible situation. It is time to stop the privatisation of the NHS and to motivate a demoralised workforce. The unions have to fight for better terms and conditions for the workers, leaving the workers to get on with what they do best - caring for patients.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 1 April 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

No cuts to welfare!

Save our schools

How to fight the anti-union laws

NHS funding crisis deepens

End punitive benefit sanctions now!

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: campaigning for a working class party

Greece: negotiations continue

US: Seattle gets a raise!

Solidarity with Cypriot workers

Tunisia: thousands demonstrate


Elections 2015

Kick out rotten MPs and councillors

TUSC set for TV broadcast

School crossing campaigner stands for TUSC

Gloucester College hustings: Scrap all fees

Defend further education

Socialist Party general election appeal 2015


Socialist Party workplace news

Teachers need national action

Unison special conference votes for new pay claim

London bus companies forced into pay talks

Bolton Uni: reinstate Damien and Jenny Markey!

Leeds: Save our train guards

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party youth and students

Students occupy for free education


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Election 2015 Cameron and Miliband Live

Axing Clause IV: Making Labour safe for capitalism

Working in the NHS: Low pay, cuts and stress

The Great Money Trick: Another World is Possible

The new look Socialist - thumbs up from readers


 

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Related links:

NHS:

triangleCoronavirus pandemic news in brief

triangleEerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

triangleContract tracer speaks out: Tories' plan is outsourced chaos

triangleCommunities condemn Tory handling of crisis - with safe protests

Stress:

triangleGCSE grading game stresses out students - even more than before!

triangleTeacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding

triangleTory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

triangleOne in four teenage girls depressed - crisis made worse by cuts

Pay:

triangleMore blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme

triangleTransport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

triangleFurlough cut-off could force millions back to unsafe workplaces

Low pay:

triangle6.5 million working poor: Fight to end low pay

triangleLow Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

Cuts:

triangleStrong union response needed against job cuts

Nurses:

triangleCovid-19 patient speaks out: fantastic support from under-resourced health workers

Health:

triangleBlack and Asian Covid-19 deaths: an indictment of capitalist inequality

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