All Around the UK subcategories:
UK Towns and cities keywords:
Health visitors strike for the first time ever
Stop the two-tier service, pay up now!
Jon Dale, secretary, Unite union EM/NG32 Nottinghamshire Health branch (personal capacity)
Health visitors in Lincolnshire believe theirs is the first health visitors' strike anywhere in the country. The 58 specialist nurses, members of Unite the Union, voted for action by an 84% majority.
The council is undermining the professional role of a health visitor, introducing a two-tier service. In- stead of preventing childhood and family problems, health visitors will be box ticking or running from crisis to crisis.
'Level 1' health visitors no longer have specialist responsibilities, so will be de-skilled. This will put young children and families at risk and risk the smaller number of 'Level 2' health visitors burning out with a heavy caseload.
In 2017, health visitors were transferred from the NHS to the Tory-controlled county council.
Although NHS and local authority workers have had (small) pay rises since, the council refused to raise health visitors' pay. They have each lost over £2,000 a year.
The council claims it can't pay more, but found £292,000 to pay its former chief executive for six months' work! Its central government grant has been slashed from £211 million to £20 million over the past eight years.
The council should refuse to pass on these cuts, or stand aside for campaigners who will.
Two 24-hour and two 48-hour strikes were initially announced, starting on 15 July. A further six days were agreed at a mass meeting after the first picket.
Similar issues are brewing up across the country. Nationally, the number of health visitors has fallen 25% since 2015.
Newborn babies, young families and health visitors are paying the price. This Lincolnshire strike may be the first but is unlikely to be the last.
National strike action is needed, uniting all public service workers against all cuts.
- Messages of support and donations to firstname.lastname@example.org
18 Sep Building a new left in PCS
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 0798 202 1969
East Mids: 0773 797 8057
London: 020 8988 8786
North East: 0784 114 4890
North West 07954 376 096
South East: 020 8988 8777
South West: 07759 796 478
Southern: 07833 681910
Wales: 07935 391 947
West Mids: 02476 555 620
Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551