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27 January 2021

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Health worker cooperation in the face of the pandemic

Demanding a 15% pay rise for NHS workers, 8th August 2020, Merthyr

Demanding a 15% pay rise for NHS workers, 8th August 2020, Merthyr   (Click to enlarge)

Maggie Fricker, University Hospital Southampton

It was with mixed feelings that I read my thank you letter from the hospital trust this week. Inside was a badge of honour, a lunch break voucher and a one-off extra day's leave.

But it has in fact been an amazing experience working here through Covid. Staff have come together and treated each other as a family. Petty differences have been forgotten, people ask you how you are doing and show little acts of kindness and support. We have made an extraordinary effort to be flexible, to innovate and make things work. Managers have listened and supported staff. We even have consultants turn up in the middle of the night to be part of the 'intensive care proning team'.

It's been a real glimpse of what is possible if we cooperate for the benefit of all. No, I'm not arguing that we're all in it together. The consultants still manage on over 100,000 a year while others are forced to use food banks. And, when this is all over, hospital managers will attempt to make savings at our expense and extend their idea of 'innovation' to make the role of the private sector more permanent.

The bosses' idea of 'giving us a say' is to pinch our ideas, con us to work extra hours, and still not give us a decent pay rise. Our idea of cooperation is a socialist one, where we own and control our services democratically and society's resources are allocated on the basis of need.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 27 January 2021:


News

Covid spreading, poverty rising, rich get richer, fight for socialism!

Health, Covid and the vaccine: It's a class issue

Poverty wages: When workers can't afford to self-isolate

Fees frozen at 9,250 a year, fight for free education

DVLA Covid outbreak: They only care about output and productivity

Jaguar Land Rover: West Midlands superspreader


Schools

Schools: 'We have to fight for everything'

Martin Powell-Davies for NEU DGS: "We need to use our collective strength"


What we think

Biden, Labour, and the need for a new mass workers' party


Workplace news

Sage care workers strike again: Billionaires refuse to pay up

Unison NEC elections: United left challenge needed to fight slaughter of jobs and services

Steel site scaffolders strike for the 'rate of the job'

Merseyside: DHL workers at Burton's Biscuits strike against half-baked pay deal and bullying bosses

British Gas engineers continue strike against fire-and-rehire plans

Low-paid hospital workers strike


NHS

Overwhelmed, underfunded, underpaid, and still fighting for safe PPE

Health worker cooperation in the face of the pandemic


Arab Spring

Ten years since the 'Arab Spring'


TUSC

TUSC is up and running for May elections

Come to the TUSC local elections conference - 7 February

Why I'm leaving Labour and campaigning for TUSC

Councillors in Surrey resign from Labour and look to stand independently


Campaigns

Solidarity meeting with Mohamud Hassan

Save Our Square from New Labour gentrification

Help fund a challenge to austerity at the ballot box - donate today!


International socialist news and analysis

Mass protests in Russia against Putin regime


Review

TV Review: It's a Sin

TV review: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain


 

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Related links:

Health:

trianglePay NHS staff 15%

triangleNHS pay: 15% now!

triangleNo start for life

triangleTrade union fighters rally to support victimised workers

Hospital:

triangleCumberland hospital workers fight for stolen pay

triangleOnline workers' rally: Taking fight to the bosses

triangleLow-paid hospital workers strike

triangleObituary - Jeff Edwards

US:

triangleSparks' protest in Cardiff; each week the protest has grown. Sparks are protesting nationally against the role of construction electricians being deskilled. Photo by Rachel Barwell

triangleGoodlord striker speaks out: 'workers have to fight for our skills to be appreciated'

triangleCourt workers to ballot in fight for safety

Covid:

triangleLondon: #BuhariMustGo protests are back

triangleLow-paid workers shouldn't pay for Covid crisis

Banks:

triangle'Casino capitalism' - driving another potential financial Armageddon

Article dated 27 January 2021

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Sparks protest in Cardiff

Sparks' protest in Cardiff; each week the protest has grown. Sparks are protesting nationally against the role of construction electricians being deskilled. Photo by Rachel Barwell

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