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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 June 2019

Midlands mental health workers walk out against privatisation

Midlands mental health workers' strike, photo Bob Severn

Midlands mental health workers' strike, photo Bob Severn   (Click to enlarge)

"If this goes through, things will never be the same again. It's the beginning of the end," said one Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust picket as Unite and Unison members began their three-day strike against privatisation through the back door.

The action, which started on 24 June at several sites, is against the trust forcing 160 maintenance and facilities workers out of the NHS into a wholly-owned subsidiary, Summer Hill Services Ltd. The trust has repeatedly failed to answer questions over the claimed savings being used to justify the transfer. As one Unison member told the Socialist, it looks like their main saving will be from tax dodging. Publicly-owned NHS bodies have to pay VAT but private ones don't, a double robbery by the fat cats from our public services.

Penny-pinching won't stop there though. The transfer would see new staff on worse contracts, probably followed by attacks on current workers, combined with corner cutting and reorganisation that will result in a worse service for patients.

The transfer is set for that start of July. However, regulations have not been followed for ether the required consultation or the Tupe (employment contract transfer) process, which could result in legal action by the unions.

Bob Severn, Birmingham South East Socialist Party

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In The Socialist 26 June 2019:


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Related links:

Midlands:

triangleWest Midlands RMT guards jobs saved

triangleSolid support for guards on West Midlands Trains

triangleWest Midlands Trains: guards strike to defend safety-critical role

triangleWest Midlands Trains guards to strike

triangleFinancing the fightback

Privatisation:

triangleChildren need intensive care? We don't care!

triangleSave the NHS: kick out the Tories

triangleFrimley NHS Trust: Strikers remain determined to defeat privatisation

triangleBroadband: privatisation has failed to deliver, time for a socialist plan

Mental health:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleTV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The mental health crisis

NHS:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: NHS in crisis

triangleBuild for strikes to save NHS

Birmingham:

triangleBirmingham SW Socialist Party: The collapse of Stalinism

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