We have raised the issue of racism in BSUH (now University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust) before...but want to talk about Dr Vivienne Lyfar-Cisse again. It's sometimes not helpful to single out individuals when we want to talk about institutional or structural racism - but Vivienne has a national profile, she is the chair of the National NHS BME Network and she is now taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights. You can read more about her case on Vivienne's crowdfunding site. Sussex Defend the NHS support Vivienne in her quest to clear her name and achieve justice following her (unfair) dismissal.
The NHS Pay Review Body has recommended that NHS workers get a 3% pay rise this year (from March 2021). This is, of course, an insulting pay offer - below inflation and coming on top of more than a decade of similar below inflation rises or pay freezes.
All the main NHS unions are instructing their members to reject this paltry offer and have begun indicative ballots (do you support or reject the pay offer).
Check our Press Release, and look out for us on Latest TV and Radio Sussex!
Good to have some positive news for a change! A project producing a quilts and embroidering large handkerchiefs as part of the Oppose ICS’s campaign has been taken round the country.
Sussex Defend the NHS is out on the streets in the next few weeks supporting health workers in their campaign for a decent pay rise. Next they will be outside the Royal Sussex County Hospital at 11am on August 17th joining a demonstration and ballot-signing organised by the GMB and the campaign NHSPayJustice.
Clare Jones, a local NHS nurse UNITE staff rep.*, says “A below-inflation pay rise is an insult for NHS workers. I am pleased that the unions are working together and saying ‘Not good enough’ to the Government.”
After a long delay the government have offered a derisory 3% which all of the major health unions say is totally inadequate. It will mean less than the Real Living Wage (£9.50ph) for the lowest paid, and it’s less than the rise in the cost of housing, food and travel to work. It will widen the pay gap within the workforce, and keeping wages so low will mean disaster for recruiting and for retaining staff.
Louise, a local mental health nurse in UNISON, says “I am voting to reject the offer and I’m prepared to strike; I’m encouraging my colleagues to do the same.”
Kelly, a registered nurse from Brighton and GMB activist**, explained why she and her union are sticking out for 15%: “ We have faced a decade of austerity so another real- terms pay cut is just rubbing salt into the wound for staff. This year it’s actually less than a 1% pay rise in real terms after 4% predicted inflation, and we’ve already seen a 20% pay cut since 2010. Also the NHS is chronically understaffed and this 3% offer isn’t enough to persuade overworked current staff to stay, let alone recruit the new workers we desperately need.”
Sussex Defend the NHS sees this offer as insulting, and part of the government’s efforts to undermine and privatise the NHS. It has used the pandemic as an excuse to speed up the process, wasting huge amounts of public money keeping private hospitals afloat, and funding an unworkable Track and Trace system. Instead, it should be fully funding the NHS including a 15% wages to its staff.
Sussex Defend the NHS