by Maggie Fricker.
Saturday 3rd of July will see local protests right across the country to demand better for our NHS. Tens of thousands of health campaigners have come together to make our voices heard from Keep Our NHS Public, NHS Workers Say No to Public Sector pay inequality, NHS Staff Voices and Health Campaigns Together.
This date marks the 73rd anniversary of the NHS. Now as we battle the most serious pandemic in 100 years, with millions on waiting lists, the NHS is being thanked and applauded – but starved of real resources. The truth is the NHS was struggling well before the Covid-19 pandemic, after years of government cuts led to desperate winter crises and 100,000 vacant posts.
Health workers will protest at 10am outside Southampton General Hospital. We protest against our services being privatised by incompetent private providers whose sole purpose is to make profit from people’s ill health, we protest about staff shortages and underfunding of the care we are proud to give, but just as importantly we protest about the Tories insulting pay offer – a slap in the face for all we’ve been through.
It’s time to build a mighty movement of our unions and our communities to fight for something better for our NHS. We call on all trade unionists and community activists to come and join us show your support!
At midday we have leafleting and banners outside West Quay – Portland Terrace and then our local Trades Council have organised a march through town – gathering behind the Bargate at 12:30 to set off at about one pm. Come with your union banners and your homemade placards and let’s make our voices heard!”
Maggie Fricker is a radiographer working mostly in A&E at University Hospitals Southampton. She says: ” We have become a family at UHS as we’ve pulled together to support each other during the pandemic. But we are desperately underfunded, under resourced and understaffed. I’m protesting against privatising our services putting profit before safety, I’m protesting for more resources and I’m protesting for a decent pay rise which we and are communities think we deserve.”
- Photo by Anna Shvets