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Stop the NHS jobs massacre
IN THE last few days, more than 4,000 health service jobs have been threatened, including those of doctors and nurses. Thousands more could follow. 1,200 of the job cuts already announced are in Stoke. This report shows how to build the campaign to stop these savage cuts in the NHS.
ON 22 MARCH, angry health workers met to launch a campaign to defend the NHS in North Staffs from the attempted butchery of 1,200 jobs and 160 beds at our University Hospital. The meeting was organised by the local Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP).
Out of the more than 100 who attended the meeting at very short notice, 80 were NHS workers who were incensed at these latest attacks. All those present voted to launch a campaign to defend our NHS.
Local New Labour MPs have spoken only of money to retrain staff and the New Labour-controlled city council has been virtually silent.
If left to New Labour locally we will have JobCentre workers under threat of redundancy directing NHS workers, who now face the sack, to apply for jobs on the council - where they want compulsory redundancies. Or they could send them to Stoke-on-Trent College to be retrained by lecturers, 155 of whom are to be sacked!
But NHS workers and people in North Staffs don't want New Labour's jobs merry-go-round madhouse. They want action to defend our NHS services!
A petition launched by Stoke Socialist Party has already collected over 2,000 names. Socialist Party councillors Dave and Paul Sutton have ensured that, despite resistance from New Labour councillors, the decision to slash jobs inspired by the government and announced by hospital management will be 'called in' to the city council's scrutiny commission which has the power to refer them to the health minister.
This will take place on Monday 10 April in the Civic Centre in Stoke. We want NHS workers and local people to attend a protest outside this meeting to show our anger and opposition.
We are now building for a march and rally through the city which will take place on 29 April and will be linking up with other NHS defence campaigns nationally.
We are demanding an immediate injection of £15 million from the government to make up the shortfall and prevent the job losses and inevitable reduction in quality of patient care. The government plans to build a new hospital in North Staffs by using private money. It will cost £50 million to build but taxpayers will actually pay £150 million over 25 years to swell the profits of a private company.
This new hospital should be built with public funding instead, which will save up to £100 million. This is more than enough to stop the cuts.
- No to job losses, cuts and closures.
- New hospitals to be built with public funding, not for private profit.
- For a national campaign against cuts and privatisation.
- Demand the trade unions call a national demonstration to link together local NHS campaigns.
In The Socialist 30 March 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party campaigns