Socialist Worker

Medical secretaries

Issue No. 1792

The boss was praying for rain. He claimed, 'You won't last. Once it's cold and raining you'll be back at work.' But defiant medical secretaries at Sunderland hospitals rubbished their boss's predictions.

The 140 NHS workers' latest four-day strike action last week was solid, and has won the support of locals, hospital workers and patients. Sunderland hospitals' chief executive is an ex army sergeant major, Andrew Gibson. He rakes in £100,000 a year.

Ann Clay, branch secretary of Wearside Health Unison, told Socialist Worker, 'The spirit in the four days of strike has been really high.' On last Friday's picket lines one striker blew a hooter. Another rang her school bell. Not to be outdone, a secretary banged her cymbals.

The militant mood behind the strike comes after years of medical secretaries in the NHS taking on new areas of work and extra responsibilities without any recognition, payment or thanks.

Send messages of support, donations and requests for speakers to Unison Northern Region, 140-150 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6TH. Fax 0191 245 0899.

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Sat 23 Mar 2002, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1792
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