Trade Unions Must Act To Secure Nurses’ & Doctors’ Pay Rise!

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PM BORIS JOHNSON has said that there is a ‘moral duty’ to get all children back into schools in England next month. Writing in The Mail on Sunday, he said it was the ‘national priority’.

A government source said that in the event of future stricter local lockdowns, the PM’s expectation was that schools would be the last sector to be closed, after businesses like shops and pubs. In his article, the PM also warned of the ‘spiralling economic costs’ of parents and carers being unable to work.

He added: ‘Keeping our schools closed a moment longer than absolutely necessary is socially intolerable, economically unsustainable and morally indefensible.’ The key words are ‘economically unsustainable’, meaning that his key concern is the profits of the ruling class of failed UK capitalists and bankers.

To emphasise this point Johnson insisted that all children in England would be returning to school next month, including in those areas currently affected by local lockdowns, amid a spike in cases. These include Preston, Greater Manchester, Leicester and parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire, where measures focussing on restricting social interaction between households have been put in place.

Johnson’s sole concern is the welfare of British capitalism and its ruling class.

The welfare of the ruling class also dominated when the Cameron Tory government after the Cygnus inquiry in 2016 found that the UK would not be able to withstand a pandemic and that the NHS would collapse, ignored the inquiry’s findings and put the profits of big business first.

Then when the pandemic struck Johnson, now PM, was part of the group that decided to empty the elderly out of the hospitals into the care homes, causing a pandemic disaster and the deaths of thousands of the elderly from coronavirus.

The NHS was not prepared for the crisis and many hundreds of NHS staff have died doing their duty.

NHS nurses are furious that while they are dying on the job, they were left out of plans, along with junior doctors to give almost a million public sector workers an above-inflation wage increase.

One nurse said on a march in Wales on Saturday: ‘To be ignored felt like a kick in the teeth after what we’ve been through during the pandemic.’ Staff nurse Naomi Jenkins said: ‘We’ve worked so hard and been through so much during this crisis, and we still are because Covid hasn’t gone away.

‘It has been such a scary time for all NHS staff – I even wrote a will in case anything happened to me. Each day I came home in tears, worrying I might bring the virus back home to my little girl. Some of my colleagues didn’t see their children for weeks, but none of us failed to go to work.

‘It was my job to help people, that’s what I was made to do and I wanted to do, but I was putting myself and my family at risk – and still am. So for the government to exclude us from a pay rise is awful – a real kick in the teeth.’

NHS nurses and doctors are risking their lives and the lives of their families on a daily basis, and will continue to do so. In return they are being victimised by the government’s refusal to award them a pay rise.

The Tories put the rate of profit before anything else!

It is also a disgrace that the trade unions agreed to leaving the nurses and the junior doctors out in the cold without a pay rise! In fact, a similar betrayal is happening at BA where the union leaders have publicly announced that they are in favour of a 20 per cent wage cut and are willing to accept redundancies.

The working class must now take a hand in these issues!

The union leaders of the TUC must be told that they must do their duty and inform the government that if they do not give the nurses and doctors a proper pay rise then the unions will call a general strike to bring down the Johnson regime and replace it with a workers’ government and socialism.

Healthworkers, especially black and Indian workers, have lost their lives working to cure people under attack from the coronavirus.

With Johnson already talking about future lockdowns, the TUC must be forced to take action to get nurses and doctors a decent pay rise, and to see that they have all the necessary equipment and resources that they will need in the next stage of the struggle against the virus.

Workers must insist that the TUC call a general strike to win this struggle and to replace the Johnson government with a workers’ government and socialism. To drive this struggle forward workers and the local trade unions must form Councils of Action in all areas so as to be able to mobilise to give the NHS and its workers all the assistance that they will need in the days ahead.

It is obvious that the Tories put profit before anything else including the health and safety of millions of workers.

Now is the time for workers and youth to join the Workers Revolutionary Party and its youth section the Young Socialists to build the revolutionary leadership that the working class needs to take the power.