Picket outside St Mary’s Hospital
NHS workers on the Isle of Wight have joined the national action on a four-hour strike this morning.
It follows similar strike action last month.
The picket line swelled as others joined in like the representatives of local trades Councils and some councillors from the IOW and local parish.
Unison head of health Christina McAnea said: “NHS workers are overworked and underpaid.
“Most patients would be shocked to know that one in five of the NHS workers who care for them need to do a second job just to survive and many have to borrow money each month to make ends meet or resort to foodbanks.”
Striking workers included auxiliary staff and nurses.
On the picket line the issues of pay, cuts and privatisation were discussed. Of great concern was the way that the Privatisation Partnership was announced and signed by the management, which the workers described as “disgusting”. Strikers were saying that there were many things happening by stealth in the company and the public were not aware of the situation, whole buildings were marked for demolition by the executive, there are staff shortages and nurses have to re-apply for their own jobs.
Workers were interested to discuss what was happening elsewhere in the country, such as the important struggle at Lewisham and elsewhere to defend the NHS. Workers said that they thought the actions should continue and be stepped up and that a campaign to include the public in fighting for their health service should take place.
The workers opposition is definitely building in the area around the issue of the NHS and it will feature heavily in the forthcoming General Election.