Socialist Worker

Onto the streets for the NHS on 3 July + Fighting for pay justice in Scotland

Issue No. 2758

Marching in Edinburgh on Saturday

Marching in Edinburgh on Saturday (Pic: NHS Workers For Fair Pay - Scotland)

Campaigners and health workers are set to come together on 3 July in ­protests that also celebrate the NHS’s 73 birthday.

The day of action is called by Keep Our NHS Public, Health Campaigns Together, NHS Workers Say No and NHS Staff Voices.

It will demand patient safety, pay justice and an end to privatisation.

Scores of local events are already listed, ranging from picnics and static ­protests to rallies and marches.

The actions are a chance to bring together ­workers furious at how they’ve been treated during the ­pandemic—and the 1 percent pay “increase” offer.

The NHS Pay Review body is expected to announce its response to the government’s offer soon.

The nurses’ RCN union is demanding an increase of no less than 12.5 percent.

Other unions are ­demanding 15 percent. Unison is ­pushing for a £2,000 a year increase across the board. So the body’s recommendation could trigger a new push for strikes.

And health workers’ anger could combine with all those who see the steady march of privatisation through the service.

The government earlier this year pledged to end some outsourcing of NHS services, saying that they had proved “inefficient”.

But in reality, the process of slicing up the health service for private gain has been given a boost. Local campaigners have highlighted the way dozens of medical centres and GP surgeries have been handed over to the multinational Centene Corporation.

The day of action is a great chance to bring ­workers and campaigners together—surely the best birthday present the NHS could hope for.

For details of protests go

Protests for NHS pay justice in Scotland

Around 100 people marched in Edinburgh on Saturday to call for a 15 percent pay rise for NHS workers.

This comes after the recent measly 4 percent offer by the Scottish government.

Speakers at the rally ­outside the Scottish parliament in Holyrood spoke of how it was right to strike for a pay rise.

Zoe James, a mental health nurse of 22 years, said the pay offer was a real insult to workers.

She said people were being downgraded to do the same job and that nursing had become an undervalued profession.

Margaret, a nurse since 1977, said she was proud to be in the profession, but that nurses were being treated unfairly.

They were being asked to do more and more and that it was becoming more difficult to attract new people to the profession, she said.

Speakers also talked of how important it was to keep up the fight for fair pay and that they had the power to win.

Keith Pender

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