Friday, May 19, 2006

London Health workers Coordinating Committee 1988

The London Healthworker Edition 1 Front page April 1988

Bulletin of London Healthworkers Committee

Time To Link Up

The Royal Free Hospital Joint Shop Stewards Committee welcomes the formation of the London Health workers Coordinating Committee, which has arisen from the body which played a major part in making the one-day strikes on February 3 and March 14, 1988 as successful as they were. .

We have already already elected 3 delegates to the Committee, who will represent the views of and report back to our JSSC.

For a long time, we have felt the need for some sort of body to link trade unionists across London 's hospitals. It is fitting that London Health Emergency, who have always taken a similar view, should agree to produce this bulletin for us (as long as we pay for materials) .

With the help of this bulletin we hope it will be possible to sustain and gradually develop the LHCC so that when the mood of militancy begins again to grow amongst health workers we shall be in a position to provide a lead which will unite all health workers and not divide them.

If we are to achieve this aim, however, we must not only be well organised, but we should also have a very clear sense of our objectives.

In February and March the campaign was centred around one umbrella demand to "defend the NHS". This clearly has its limitations, and we need to adopt more specific demands in order not only to make it clear what we are fighting for, but to try to overcome the present tendency towards sectionalism - between different unions, between different staff groups and between different areas of the country.

The following provides a possible starting point for discussion:

* A basic minimum wage of, say, £140 take home per week for all hospital

workers, including student nurses.

* A certain number of new hospitals to be built in each Region, depending on the length of waiting lists.

* No NHS acute bed to be closed before waiting lists have been abolished.

* An increase in funding for the NHS of 5% per year over and above hospital


* An end to all charges for prescriptions, eye-tests and dental care, etc.

* The ejection of all private contractors from the NHS and an end to Competitive Tendering.

* All private beds in NHS hospitals to be made public.

Should such a "charter" of demands be adopted by the LHCC, after full

discussion amongst trade unionists within London's hospitals, we would have

made great progress.

We could organise joint campaigns around the various demands. Going to

support a march in some other part of London over a hospital closure would

perhaps be less seen as a vague sense of duty to show solidarity with somebody else's campaign, and more as a fight for the demands of OUR

charter, which pledges us to fight the closure of any NHS acute hospital bed.

For all these reasons, many of us believe that high on the agenda of the new London Healthworkers Coordinating Committee should be a discussion on the adoption of such a set of demands.


Chair, Royal Free Hospital Joint shop Steward Committee

London Health workers Coordinating Committee established as a rank and file stewards group during the 1988 dispute, by stewards at Royal free Hospital and Maudsley Hospital Steering Committee: Andrew Phillips, Gayle Adams, Camilla Crivello, John Speakman, David Esterson, John Kaufman, Hal Satterwhite

Note: Probably established 3rd February 1988