Health workers to strike again

Submitted by Matthew on 19 November, 2014 - 11:44 Author: Todd Hamer

Health unions will stage a further four hour strike on 24 November in their ongoing pay dispute.

If we do not win a decent pay settlement and build a union movement capable of defending our already much degraded terms and conditions, then we will have helped speed on the end of the NHS as a free state-of-the art health service.

Since 2010 the NHS has been starved of ÂŁ20 billion. By 2020 the gap between funding and necessary expenditure will be around ÂŁ50 billion.

But the current strategy of the unions is risible. So far the campaign has involved a four hour strike, four days of not doing unpaid overtime (so-called "action short of a strike") and a pause of six weeks. Now another four hour strike and more appeals to stop doing unpaid work for a few days.

No further strike dates after 24 November have been announced.

The unelected bureaucrats who run the unions believe the pay claim can be won through winning public support. That's important, especially in an election year. But it is not as important as the mass withdrawal of labour or more effective at concentrating the minds of the bosses.

Health workers who think four hour strikes will not be enough, must start to push for an escalation. The campaign must broaden out from short strikes to make serious headway on issues in health workplaces.

A serious strategy to win could encourage many more health workers to strike and become part of the movement to save the NHS.

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