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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 June 2018

NHS workers plan coordinated strikes across West Yorks against outsourcing

Stop press!

Mid Yorkshire Unison has voted 97.4% in favour of striking on a 57.8% turnout - smashing the Tories' undemocratic anti-strike ballot thresholds! "The message to the trust board cannot be clearer - we are 100% NHS!"

Outsourced NHS workers in east London on strike against poverty pay in 2017, photo Paul Mattsson

Outsourced NHS workers in east London on strike against poverty pay in 2017, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Adrian O'Malley, secretary, Unison Mid Yorkshire health branch (personal capacity)

Four Yorkshire branches of health union Unison are balloting simultaneously for strikes against plans to transfer estates and facilities workers into separate companies - owned by NHS trusts, but outside the NHS.

Calderdale and Huddersfield, Bradford, Leeds, and Mid Yorkshire plan coordinated strikes across West Yorkshire if the trusts do not back down.

Up and down England, NHS workers are organising against similar plans. The companies are called 'special purpose vehicles' or 'wholly owned subsidiaries'. Trusts use them to avoid paying VAT and employ staff outside nationally agreed terms and conditions.

Unison members struck for 48 hours at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust on 23 May against transfer into a company called WWL Solutions. Hundreds attended the picket lines outside the hospitals, determined to fight to remain in the NHS.

NHS bosses thought they could move the staff over into new companies under 'Tupe' transfer law without a fight. They have been taken by surprise by workers' determination to retain NHS employment.

Mass meetings, petitions, lobbies and indicative ballots have been held across the country. They have attracted support from other health workers and community groups, who rightly see this as yet another step towards the privatisation of the NHS.

The struggle is showing that low-paid workers are prepared to fight for their terms and conditions and their status as NHS workers. The lesson from Yorkshire is that we are stronger when we organise together and fight together.

As the Yorkshire NHS staff are saying: "We are 100% NHS and will fight to remain so!"

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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 13 June 2018:


Grenfell Tower

Grenfell: still waiting for justice


PCS union

Civil service pay strike ballot: vote yes! Smash the cap!

PCS members in DWP say: Pay up now!


Fighting sexism

How can we fight for trade unions that fight for women?


Socialist Party news and analysis

Five reasons to walk out on 13 July

City vultures make millions from Carillion chaos

Retail crunch: more giants on their knees - nationalise them now

Pay rises of 283% needed for most to afford London homes

Them & us


Workplace news and analysis

Health unions accept divisive NHS pay deal

NHS workers plan coordinated strikes across West Yorks against outsourcing

4,000 Rolls-Royce jobs at risk

Transport for London to lose central grant: bus workers must prep for action

Housing strike against individualised pay enters week two

Vote Mike Rolfe for Napo general secretary


International socialist news and analysis

Venezuela: Neither the capitalists nor regime can solve the crisis

Eyewitness report from Gaza: "Razan was killed in front of my eyes"


Socialist Party campaigns

Build an anti-racist workers' movement

Help to sell the Socialist

Don't delay, buy issue 1000 today

Sheffield Labour council "happy" to jail trees protesters

In the words of Amber Rudd, "no one died at Orgreave"


 

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Unison:

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