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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 June 2016

Student nurses march to oppose bursary cut

Len Hockey, Unite member at Whipps Cross Hospital

A lively vocal demonstration against Tory plans to remove bursaries from student nurses and allied health professions took place on 4 June in London.

The threatened students were joined by teachers, health workers and junior doctors in the march from St Thomas' hospital to NHS HQ at Richmond House.

Placards decrying Jeremy Hunt's funding starvation of health services as well as poverty pay plans for all NHS staff were carried together with the demand that private companies be 'kept off our NHS'.

The demo received support and applause from the public and shoppers along the route with some joining us when seeing its demands for adequate funding being raised.

The attack represents a potentially devastating blow. Students are being forced to take on tens of thousands of pounds in debt against the backdrop of the exodus already taking place as burned out, exhausted and demoralised staff leave. Insufficient numbers of new entrants are replacing them.

A rally took place at the end with speakers including National Union of Students president Malia Bouattia, fashion designer Viviane Westwood, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) president Cecilia Amin and Natalie Bennet from the Green Party along with health student campaigners and NHS users.

Everyone on the demo agreed with linking together the junior doctors' and nurses' campaigns, but our leaflets argued that the major health unions, including Unison, Unite and the RCN, should launch a national campaign against the attacks on the NHS, including strike action. Socialist Party placards saying "health workers strike together" were popular.

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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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 8 June 2016:


EU referendum

No to Tory and EU austerity

Youth must fight for their future

Northern Ireland: Biggest trade union supports EU exit

Letter to the Socialist: EU referendum

The socialist case against the EU: TUSC tour continues


Socialist history

China's 'Cultural Revolution' 1966-67


Socialist Party review

Music review: No to TTIP


Socialist Party news and analysis

Athens bus workers clean up

Exploitation Britain: Unionise and fight for a living wage

Muhammad Ali 1942-2016

Housing: Let's reclaim our right to dream again!

Nationalise the rip-off drug companies

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Link the strikes - come to the NSSN conference

Momentum Youth and Students: Witch hunts won't take movement forward

Tamil Solidarity Day

Student nurses march to oppose bursary cut

Pensioners fight ageist Tory cuts

Dangerous, dirty and damp: the unseen world of temporary accommodation


Socialist Party workplace news

RF Brookes walk out over pay cut

Pennine Foods strike: "Business NOT open as usual - Again!"

Junior doctors' dispute: New offer falls short

PCS campaign against Land Registry privatisation

Workplace news in brief


 

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Related links:

Nurses:

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

triangleWhere's our PPE? Where's our testing? Where's our money?

triangleNHS workers speak out: austerity has left us unprepared

triangleEnd health and wealth divide - Fight for our NHS

triangleNorthern Ireland: Thousands of nurses continue to strike for better pay

Student:

triangleSouthampton: University workers win full pay for casual staff

triangleTory student plot defeated at Cardiff uni

triangleStudent occupation in support of striking workers

triangleSolidarity with striking university staff

Health:

triangleA socialist NHS fit for heroes

triangleA timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society

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triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleContact tracing fiasco: You can't believe a word the government tells us

Students:

triangleLondon Young Socialists & Socialist Students: We won't pay for the crisis with our futures

Hospital:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: The occupation of St Benedict's Hospital in 1979

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