“Since my sacking, trade unionists and campaigners have rallied magnificently to support our strike,” Karen Reissmann told Socialist Worker.
“Many people had thought that the trust would never dare to sack me for speaking out. Now those same people seem engulfed by a sense of outrage.
“Trade unionists in particular are shocked that under a Labour government a health worker can be sacked for speaking out against cuts.
“That outrage is fuelling the solidarity donations that our strike has been receiving.”
Unison union steward Ben Jackson told Socialist Worker that more than £11,000 in donations were made to the strike fund last week.
Ben said, “We’ve had a donation of £5,000 from Unison at UCL hospital in London, £3,000 from Southampton health Unison, and several thousands of pounds have been promised by Unison branches in Scotland, Greater Manchester, Bristol and Oxfordshire.
“We’ve sent delegations of strikers out across Britain, and there are more promises of money and delegations to our demonstration in Manchester on Saturday 24 November.”
Supporters of the strike in Chorlton, Manchester, have formed a local action committee and have taken to the streets to capitalise on the prominence of the dispute.
“One member collected over £100 on her street,” a Chorlton activist told Socialist Worker. “Then on Friday of last week we leafleted a showing of the film Sicko and raised a further £22.
“By texting and emailing Stop the War and Respect activists we managed to get ten people to help with a campaign stall on Saturday, where we collected another £100.
“At the stall we met some health workers from Oldham who had already collected £30 from their workmates – we arranged to meet up with them to do a stall in Oldham next week.
“While we were out campaigning two members of the UCU union came by to drop off £20 they had collected at work.”
Students in Manchester have also pitched in, collecting more than £200 on a Manchester city centre stall on Saturday, and a further £25 at a university meeting in support of the Palestinian people.
Now the students are planning to do bucket collections at canteens and lecture theatres across the universities.
Rush donations to Manchester Community and Mental Health branch Unison, c/o union office, Chorlton House, 70 Manchester Road, Manchester, M21 9UN.