“We need to stop our politicians looking to private sector providers who have failed the NHS time and time again and are not the solution to this mess.”
By Holly Turner, NHS Workers Say No!
We are all here to rally against this awful, inept, deceitful Government. Who, led by Boris Johnson continue to attack the most vulnerable and marginalised, whilst attacking workers rights and our public services.
Now, many people who care about their communities and the people that live around them and care about the safety of keyworkers, will have stories of loneliness, heartbreak, pain and struggle throughout the pandemic. But our government will never understand that as unlike us, they didn’t abide by their own rules. But really, Did we ever expect Johnson to have anything but a culture like this within Downing Street?
Whilst they partied, my partner and I, both working as NHS Nurses, used to work alternate shifts so one of us could be at home with our children. Home, stripping at the back door then inside to wash before the children could get close, or make contact, like so many other frontline workers we were terrified. We know that this Government have treated NHS workers appallingly, and they have left patient safety severely compromised. They have refused to pay workers properly whilst wasting billions on dodgy contracts.
Public Health messaging has been severely undermined by a Government who I don’t believe have even attempted to understand how to manage this crisis. Tens of thousands have been allowed to die with 1 in 6 of all these deaths being people with disabilities. We cannot allow them to treat the very people who need our care most, like they are completely disposable.
We need to be applying pressure. We need to stop our politicians looking to private sector providers who have failed the NHS time and time again and are not the solution to this mess. We need investment, in the future of a fully publicly owned and funded NHS, bringing our outsourced colleagues back in house, paying staff properly and to stop the Tories from selling it off before there is nothing left!
Across the health service like with many other public sector workers, Morale is rock bottom, staff are leaving and they are not valued by the Government. GMB Union published results of our NHS staff survey yesterday, 71% of all respondents said they had considered leaving the NHS in the past six months citing pay, stress and their mental health as the reasons for this. Is this any way to treat the very people who keep us safe, and is this in any way sustainable? We all know the answer to that. And this is why NHS workers are getting organised.
We all need to be organising collectively, and a key part of that must be joining a union. Lobby your MPs and local councillors. Get active and get involved in campaigns, both local and national.
If you know of a local picket, join it. If there is local demo, get involved. If you know of local campaign groups, get in touch and see how you can support.
We need to be building a mass movement, linking up our fights and NEVER letting this Government divide us. Because together, we are strong. Keep going. Solidarity.
- Holly turner was speaking at the Arise Festival #JohnsonOut rally on January 29th. This article is an adapted version of her speech at the event, which you can watch in full here.
- You can follow Holly on twitter here, and follow NHS Workers Say No! on twitter here and Facebook here.