|The News Line: News
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
‘WE WILL DEFEAT THE HEALTH BILL!’
DELEGATES passed motion 51 on ‘Southern Cross and the Care Sector’ yesterday morning at the TUC.
|TUC Congress delegates voting for co-ordinated strike action to defend jobs and pensions on Monday
It called for ‘robust regulation’, ‘all care homes to be returned to public control’ and for a levy on the hedge funds that made a killing over Southern Cross.
In the debate Alexis Chase said: ‘Being poor, sick and old can be frightening. For people like Southern Cross you are not a person just a profit margin.’
She added: ‘This is the time when decent people are saying “this government needs to go!”
‘It is unscrupulous, greedy and wrong, and needs to go.’
Delegates earlier voted to continue their opposition and to defeat the Health and Social Care bill.
Moving composite 10 ‘All Together for the NHS) Elena Smith, Unison president, said: ‘MPs voted by 65 to give the Health and Social Care Bill a third reading, shamefully only four Liberal Democrats voted against’.
She added: ‘All that stands between the government and the breaking up of the NHS is the House of Lords and us.’
She stressed: ‘The bill still imposes competition’ and that the health secretary will no longer have the duty to provide health services.'
She said: ‘One of the founding principles of the NHS has unravelled. The bill makes creeping privatisation inevitable.’
She warned that foundation trusts ‘which my union opposes’ will have to raise cash or ‘risk going under.
‘We cannot allow this to happen. This bill must be defeated. Our NHS is the jewel in the crown of the welfare state.’
Alex MacKenzie from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy said: ‘This bill is about an ideology that puts the market and profit above patients.’
MacKenzie warned of ‘fragmented service, rationing and undermining professional collaboration’.
The CSP delegate added: ‘No wonder bosses overseas are waving their hands, there is money to be made in the NHS.’
MacKenzie insisted: ‘All the major professions I work with are against this bill, but it is still not over yet, it has to go to the House of Lords and back to the House of Commons.
‘Do what you can to save the NHS.’
Speaking in support, Annette Mansell-Green from the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association said: ‘We are not opposed to change.’
But she warned: ‘The amount of funding reduction together with the reorganisation’ is hitting the NHS.
She condemned ‘Reductions in pension requirements and redundancies, not for clinical reasons, but for money.’
She said: ‘Hospital consultants and specialists are saying, “What are we going to do to defend our services”.’
She warned: ‘Removing the Health Secretary’s responsibility will result in private greed.’
She concluded: ‘We need to maintain the NHS with its founding principles intact.’
Delegates went on to pass motion 50, ‘Save the NHS’, which calls for ‘the end of privatisation in the NHS’ and ‘total opposition to foundation trusts’, and for ‘the nationalisation of the pharmaceutical companies’.
The TUC General Council supported this with reservations about nationalising pharmaceuticals.
In the debate UCU delegate John McCormack said: ‘The private sector Trojan horse is worming its way in to the centre of the NHS. The NHS should not be for profit.’
Composite 11, ‘State Education, Free Schools, Academies and Privatisation’ called for ‘a high profile campaign to advance the cause of state education and to oppose privatisation’.
This should ‘ensure that state funded schools and associated land and assets are publicly owned and managed in trust for the public.’
Mover Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said: ‘The Education Secretary Gove pledged to end the public monopoly of education.’
She added: ‘Swingeing cuts have been made to local education budgets.’
She said that academies are being promoted through ‘bribery and bullying’ and ‘are nothing to do with raising standards’.
She stressed: ‘No mandate was given for academies and free schools which are about lining the pockets of business.’
She continued: ‘We must oppose the education bill with the same vigour as the health bill. We must do everything we can to fight this pernicious education bill.’
Seconding the motion, NUT President Nina Franklin declared: ‘Free schools are a huge attack, they take away community schools’ capacity. Free schools also have an enormous effect on funding, they disrupt what is happening locally.
‘They affect our pay and conditions and do not even need to have qualified teachers.’
She warned: ‘The education bill undermines Local Authorities’ roles. They lead to massive inequality and division. In my local area, Bristol, the free school led to the closure of the local comprehensive school.’
She concluded by calling on delegates to defend the right to education.
Speaking in support ATL president Alice Robinson said that academies and free schools ‘are a dash for cash’.
She added: ‘It is a shameful situation that academies have been openly supported y the leader of the Labour Party.’
She warned: ‘There is massive investment in free schools when local authority budgets are shrinking’ and told conference that the proposed free school in Oldham is planning its curriculum for ‘literacy, numeracy and discipline.
‘We should not be surprised by Michael Gove’s support for privatisation.’
She concluded: ‘Mr Ed, I am appalled at your statements this morning.’
UCU delegate Mark Campbell said: ‘UCU believes in free, democratically accountable state education for all.
‘Free education should not end at 16. Adult education, further education and university should be free.’
He said that free schools should be called ‘a free market experiment’.
He condemned the removal of EMA, cuts in ESOL and £9,000 tuition fees, ‘it is taking the chance of a future from working class children’.
He warned: ‘Now they are talking about introducing for-profit private universities, using our money to fund these.’
He concluded by saying: ‘Millions of us will be on strike with our students in November. We win by taking this government on.’
Richard Evans of the Society of Radiographers told conference: ‘We should all be fighting for state education. There is overwhelming public support for state education and it is up to us to defend it.’
Alison Shepherd of Unison said: ‘Support the defence of state education.
‘Education belongs to all of us, we want to see change but within the framework of the state education system.’
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