Fighting the trusts in Scotland

Make sure that healthworkers' enthusiasm and public support are not wasted

THE NHS in Scotland, like the rest of Britain, is under attack from all angles. Hospitals are being closed, wards are being mothballed and healthworkers are offered derisory pay awards. Out of 36 trusts in Scotland only three are meeting the unions’ demand for a three percent unconditional increase in nurses’ pay. Another 24 have offered the three percent only if staff agree to a worsening of conditions of service, including a reduction in bank holidays and acceptance of local pay bargaining.

Many hospital workers are bemused at the onslaught. The public is only seeing the tip of the iceberg as, slice by slice, healthcare is being cut to meet the business demands of the trusts.

The fight to save the Dundee Royal Infirmary is now being conducted in an atmosphere of intimidation and double-speak on the part of the trust. One hospital storeman in Ninewells told us, “I can’t sign your petition. We’ve been told not to sign anything or speak to anyone or we might lose our jobs.”

Thousands of people in this city want to fight for better healthcare. This Monday the Dundee branch of the CPGB will not only present its petition to the trust, but will put forward communist demands:

Mary Ward, Communist Party branch secretary, said:

“This is just the start of our campaign. At Monday’s meeting we will launch our call for a health service support group, including political parties, community leaders and trade unionists. We will also be going to rank and file workers who feel they have been sold out by their unions. Workers must organise now and fight for the healthcare we need. If current union officials do not have the stomach for a fight then they should be replaced by those with the guts to lead the working class.”

Nancy Morelli