Socialist Worker

Unison health members campaign to defend NHS

by Caroline Ridgeway (pc)
Issue No. 2350

The Unison union healthcare conference began on Monday this week. Unison activists looked for strategy and coordination from their officials. 

There was much debate about a national demonstration in defence of the NHS, but the union’s leadership preferred regional campaigning with community emphasis. 

The conference called for every town and city to have local demonstrations on 6 July—the NHS’s 65th birthday.

Following the demos in Lewisham and in Stafford last weekend, the lack of a national demo is a missed opportunity.

The NHS is being eroded by the Health & Social Care Act. 

And many delegates felt that the discussion inside the conference did not reflect the anger and bitterness that activists currently face in their workplace. 

Members are suffering from being called “uncaring”, high levels of stress, re-organisations, downgradings and a pay freeze that has not been smashed.

Dave Prentis, the general secretary, did call on the four regional TUCs to lead local demonstrations. 

He also called for a fight on pay which was being debated as Socialist Worker goes to press. 

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