South West NHS: Testing the waters for further pay cuts

In the Summer 68,000 health workers (including junior doctors) in the South West of England learnt that their employers were considering cutting their pay by up to 15%, through possible reductions in basic pay of 1%;  a 10% reduction in unsocial hours  pay; an increase of the working week by 1 hour without extra pay; cutting 2 days of annual leave; reducing sick pay to new staff – which will start at only 50% of pay and a 10% cut in annual pay increments.

Campaign about privatisation obscures cuts in NHS

Some 8 months after the government paused for a ‘listening exercise’ and repackaged some of the measures in its Health and Social Care Bill, there seems to be something missing from the resurgent opposition. In all the words condemning privatisation it is hard to find any equivalent criticism of the cost cutting being imposed.

NHS reform: Government 'U-turn' continues same cost cutting

The government has made a ‘U-turn’, as the media calls it, on reform of the NHS. For Socialist Worker (18.6.11) changes proposed to the NHS are a “retreat”, a “humiliating climbdown” for a government intent on privatising. For the Guardian (14.6.11) it is “a compromise that might just heal the coalition”. But in all the words written about the changes the government has accepted from the Future Forum and the so-called ‘listening exercise’ there is often no mention of the driving force behind the reform – the £20bn efficiency savings demanded of the NHS.

NHS: Defend jobs and healthcare, not the capitalist state

More than 50,000 health service jobs are due to be lost, including doctors, nurses, midwives and ambulance personnel. In fact Trusts plan to shed 12% of qualified nursing posts over the next 4 years, while the NHS already relies on their unpaid overtime, carried out by 95% of nurses with more than 1 in 5 doing this every shift.

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