Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1056/29584
From The Socialist newspaper, 18 September 2019
Lincolnshire health visitors strike boost
Lincolnshire health visitors, organised by general union Unite, protesting against a council-imposed pay freeze, photo by Mansfield Socialist Party (Click to enlarge)
Striking Lincolnshire health visitors felt boosted after Jeremy Corbyn gave his support at the recent TUC congress. Three Unite union reps got a standing ovation from congress delegates. They came away feeling their battle is becoming a national issue.
Health visitors have now been on strike 26 days during the past two months against a council imposed pay freeze (ie pay cuts) - the first time ever health visitors have been on strike as a profession.
A health visitor Unite rep from Boston spoke to Jon Dale of Mansfield Socialist Party about their action:
"When you come out on strike it's empowering as you meet all your colleagues facing the same problems.
"I haven't enjoyed the strikes because we don't want to let our families down, but if we don't fight they'll get a worse service in the future.
"I'm seeing a family now with four children. The mother's on maternity leave not getting paid and the father - a farm worker taking home £6,000 a year - got injured and isn't getting paid.
"They can't afford a car or to take the family on a bus. I've had to give them food bank vouchers and take the food to them.
"Our families are suffering from cuts Lincolnshire County Council has carried out. We don't see our families as 'Key Performance Indicators' as senior managers do.
"We spend a long time building up relationships with families, but managers are stopping us doing any preventive work - it's all reactive. People can't be tick boxes. They're cutting down our home visits and expecting families to come to our clinics. How many more can they squeeze into our day?"
More health visitors have joined Unite from other unions and joined the strikes as the dispute has gone on. However, three months after their ballot, the strike is now being suspended for a further ballot to continue action.
Those on council 'junior health visitor' rather than NHS contracts, not involved in the action so far, are also being balloted and will hopefully join further strike action.
Having applauded health visitors at the TUC, trade union leaders now need to organise real solidarity action and bring together all public service workers facing similar issues. Against such a weak chaotic government, united trade union action could help bring a Corbyn anti-austerity government to power.
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 18 September 2019:
What we think
Ditch the Tories - and austerity
Trade union movement must put its stamp on swirling events
Climate protests: which way forward after 20 September?
Climate change: what's socialism got to do with it?
How students can fight and win
Socialist Party feature
Northern Ireland: Campaign mounts over historic sexual abuse allegations cover-up
Socialist Party workplace news
PCS general secretary candidate: unions must mobilise to drive out Boris
Strike back to stop bullying Royal Mail bosses
Lincolnshire health visitors strike boost
DVSA strike - employer asks for talks
Nottingham College UCU - more strike action planned
PCS members at BEIS maintain just fightback
Ilford: strike forces school management to back down
International socialist news and analysis
Violence against women in South Africa
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
South Yorkshire defeats fire cuts
Donate to help us move our press by October
March planned to save Bewdley Fire Station
London: packed public meeting discusses political crisis
Selling the Socialist
Peterloo - fighting for democracy and a better life
The Socialist inbox
The Socialist 18 September 2019 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook