Friday, December 02, 2011

US Nurses Solidarity With UNISON Nurses 30th November

SEIU Nurses in Washington DC back the action by British nurses on November 30th

US Nurses backed our pension protests

National Nurses United members and other US trades unionists march outside the British Embassy in Washington DC. Photo NNU

30th November 2011

As trailled extensively on Stronger Unions last night, one example of international solidarity for our day of action against pension injustice came from our brothers and sisters in the USA, and in particular the National Nurses Union (NNU). Details are still coming through (California is 8 hours behind us), but there were protests outside the UK Embassy in Washington DC, and outside consulates in Boston, Chicago, Orlando, San Francisco and Las Vegas, and letters were handed in at each location. You can see photos of the actions online, and the story even made Le Figaro in Paris, France. The Daily Kos reported that “the United Steel Workers, Teamsters, AFT, ATU, SEIU, AFL central labor councils, Unite-Here, and members of Occupy DC and Occupy Chicago, were among labor and community activists joining the solidarity actions.”

“Even though we all live in different parts of the world, we are all fighting for the same issues,”

said Zenei Cortez, RN, a co-president of the California Nurses Association, and an NNU vice president addressing the San Francisco picket.

In her letter, addressed to Sir Nigel Sheinwald, British Ambassador to the US, NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro wrote:

“We urge the British government to stop its attempt to make public-sector workers pay more and work longer to receive a smaller pension when they retire. The government’s plans will impact women the most, who already suffer from lower pensions. This attack on the people who provide patient care at the National Health Service, teach school children, and provide essential public services is unconscionable.”

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nurses V Bankers - Kingston Hospital 30 November 2011

Dateline: 13:00 - 30th November 2011 Kingston Hospital, Surrey

Nurses v Bankers,

Kingston Hospital UNISON Nurses to the fore as as always

Pensions Campaign 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 UNISON Badge & Ribbon - We Shall Remember

UNISON 9/11 Ribbon and Badge

UNISON Nurses handing out 9/11 ribbons at 2002 TUC Congress at Blackpool

UNISON 9/11 Badge from September 2001 worn by London emergency services staff.

UNISON working with SEIU

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Colin Robinson COHSE Presidential Address 1989

COHSE Conference 1989
20-23 June 1989 Royal Hall, The Spa, Bridlington
26th Delegate conference

Colin Robinson President


It is my pleasure to welcome you to Bridlington, to our 26th Annual Delegate Conference. Colleagues, in many respects this has been a good year for COHSE. We have had 18 months now of solid campaigning for what we believe in, defending the NHS and fighting for improved pay and conditions for our members.

We have seen a successful start to direct mailing, as Conference was promised last year. And, perhaps most importantly of all, we have seen our membership rise by more than 10,000.

But colleagues, in a number of other ways the pressures upon us have intensified. We have the rampant Right-wing bullying approach of the Government, intent on privatising the service as its ultimate end. And we have to be aware that the shape of trade unionism is changing.

Mergers and amalgamations will mean that a few big unions will dominate the scene within a few years and we must consider our response to that. We must ensure that no matter what happens the interests of working people are protected.

Since we met last year in Blackpool we have been involved in an epic struggle with the Government on behalf of our members facing the biggest shake up in nurse grading since the start of the National Health Service.

By cash limiting the clinical grading exercise the Secretary of State for Health has sold thousands of nurses short, depriving them of their appropriate grades and recognition of their professional experience and expertise.

By adopting a strategy of working to grade, COHSE nurses demonstrated conclusively to colleagues and managers that their case was just. But the unilateral directives from the Department of Health have left many nurses high and dry with no chance of winning higher grades through the appeals system.

Ministers promised to fund the grading review in full. They broke this pledge and transformed it into a cost cutting regrading exercise. So, rather than create a proper career structure for nurses at the bedside, the Government has insulted them.

The magnificent fight put up by nurses meant we won the media battle hands down. The arrogance of health secretary, Kenneth Clarke, demonstrated by his refusal to meet the committee elected to represent the profession and his refusal to put the grading dispute to independent arbitration, has alienated all who care about the future of the health service. In much the same way as he has slandered doctors, Mr Clarke set about attacking COHSE and NUPE, trying in vain to label us as mindless militants rather than dedicated health care staff.

The boost COHSE received in nurse membership clearly indicates who nurses believed. Our nurse members turned to us in their thousands for help, advice and support. Our stewards, branch secretaries, regional and national officials rose admirably to the task. They gave them that support and continue to do so under very difficult circumstances. And as a result, thousands more nurses have joined us, impressed by what COHSE can offer.

Colleagues, we have placed our trust in the independence of the Pay Review Body. But in future the Pay Review Body will have to be wary of the trickery, treachery and deceit of the Government, which would like nothing more than to undermine it and get rid of it all together.

Our rise in membership and our moves towards reorganisation and direct mailing have left COHSE in good shape to face the 1990s. But we have to recognise thatthe world is changing about us. By the 21st century, the trade union sphere could be dominated by just six super unions. In that environment COHSE would have to look closely at all possible options for its future.

More urgently, the fundamental changes proposed for the National Health Service dictate a strong, unified response and may necessitate such close co-operation that full amalgamation might be the logical solution.

We should not set our face against such changes. But we should not also assume that amalgamation is our only way forward. We are the only union that organises exclusively across all health and social services staff. As such we have a coherence, strength and experience which no other union can match. We will not throw that away lightly. But nor will we adopt a head in the sand approach.

That is what the 'twin track' policy put forward by the NEC means. We owe it to our members and to the wider trade union movement to explore all the feasible options. It will always be the members who decide where we as an organisation are going. We must not allow that choice to
be hampered or restricted by past decisions or prejudices.

We proved over the last year that we are a campaigning union. This year, our Conference agenda rightly makes it clear that's the way we must continue. But as an organisation of 220,000 members we must concentrate resources and decide on priorities. Branch motions call on the union to organise over ten different campaigns.

We could support all of these but it would be dishonest. Our resources as a union would be spread so thinly that our campaigning activity would make no impact. To be effective any campaign must go beyond ritual condem-
nations and involve sound organisational work that will mobilise the maximum number of members.

I believe that this Government's strategy for the complete and irrevocable privatisation of the NHS is right on schedule.

It began in 1979 and, with every rise in prescription charges, it has increased in pace and ferocity. As the prospects of electoral defeat now loom large on the horizon, Thatcher's Right-wing think tanks have never worked harder to produce the elements necessary for a successful NHS sell off.

Mrs Thatcher's new model Health Service will mean propaganda, mininformation, insecurity, poverty and fear in varying degrees for the consumer. It will mean bribery, manipulation, disillusionment, harassment and eventual demoralisation for health workers.

But for the market leaders it will be profit, greed, patronage and ambition.

These are the camouflaged ingredients which I believe will form the foundations for this Government's more efficient, more caring National Health Service.

As a union that helped create the National Health Service, we can have no greater priority than the defeat of the Government' s White Paper proposals. We cannot rely on the doctors to do our work for us.

As nurses, as hospital support workers, as ambulance and community staff, we have daily contact with patients and users. We must warn them of the evils of a market health system geared more to cutting costs and standards than providing for the need of users.

If we go down the road proposed by the White Paper, we will soon end up with a nightmarish American style health care system. With private hospitals competing alongside NHS and opted out hospitals for patients and with tax relief for private health insurance, private medicine will be given a new-found status.

Budget conscious GPs will be forced unceremoniously to dump their elderly and chronically sick patients to fend for themselves. Market medicine does not cater for those most in need of health care.

In the USA nearly 40 million people have to survive without health cover. In the United States private medicine has achieved a unique, unenviable double. It has created the costliest and least efficient system in the world.

Over-treatment of insured patients is rife because doctors are paid on a piece-work basis. As a result an American woman is three times more likely than a Briton to have both a hysterectomy and a baby born by Caesarian section.

While the rich suffer from treatment they don't need, the poor and the sick suffer because they can't get treated. As a result, black children die in the shadow of enormous state of the art hospitals.

Our role in defeating the White Paper must be to challenge Government propaganda and to work hand in glove with consumer and community groups, women's organisations, trade unions and professional associations to create an impenetrable wall of opposition to the proposals.

After ten years at Downing Street, Mrs Thatcher believes herself capable of overwhelming all opposition and setting a new agenda for the nation.

Traditionally the Tories have attacked the NHS by starving it of resources and paying staff poverty wages. They have avoided a full assault on the NHS as a national institution. It is a measure of Mrs Thatcher's belief in her own indestructibility that she is now willing to make that assault.

But I believe that Mrs Thatcher has seriously miscalculated. Despite its problems, the National Health Service remains both an island of equality in a sea of inequality and universally popular. The NHS has always figured near the top in opinion polls among issues of importance in the electorate. The Vale of Glamorgan by-election indicated how fragile Tory dominance at elections can be. Our role as the major health union must be to transform that fragility into a slide that will sweep the Tories from power at the next election.

Colin Robinson
COHSE President


COHSE President Conference Address 1991
June 11- June 14th 1991
Empress Ballroom, Blackpool
President Colin Robinson

Conference, I am pleased to welcome you all to Blackpool at a time when the health service has once again hit the top of the political agenda.

The "softly, softly' approach to the Government's health reforms heralded in by William Waldegrave's succession to Kenneth Clarke as Health Secretary lasted just 25 days. That is how long it took the Government's flagship trust hospital. Guys, to shatter the carefully created illusion of a reformed health service delivering choice, quality care and efficiency to NHS patients.

Then we saw Health Secretary, William Waldegrave wash his hands of the trust cuts.

But the people ofMonmouth did not allow him to get away with it. They passed a damning verdict on the Government's attempt to create a two tier service.

Nearly 9,000 beds were closed, temporarily or permanently, last winter to wipe away old debts. Yet within days of the new market health system, further cuts were being made. The Government claims that these problems have arisen because of poor management and overstaffing. But the real reason is the persistent underfunding of the NHS.

Just a few months ago, the Government was willing to give hospitals a blank cheque to treat Gulf war casualties. It is not the resources but the political will, the commitment to public services, which this Government lacks.

Thankfully, our hospitals were not inudated with the sick and injured from the Gulf. So why is the moneyavailable during that crisis not being used to rescue hospitals from their present funding crisis?

Nearly one million people are waiting for operations, many for over a year. Mounting aiting lists have been met not by urgently needed new cash but by cosmetic attempts to manipulate the figures.

Now it has introduced a health service where the market rules. One which is untried anduntested — a leap in the dark. The Government promised greater choice for patients, greater value for money and a list of essential 'core services' which the trusts would have to provide. The reality is quite different.

Patients and non budget holding GPs have to use the hospitals where their health authority have signed contracts. Money or the referral of patients outside these contracts is extremely limited. Even for budget holding GPs, choice of hospital is illusory. The price of care and not the principle of care is clearly the overriding policy of this Government however they attempt to dress it up.

The Health Secretary has claimed that his new system would provide better protection to Cinderella services. But the Guy's experience refutes this. Trusts battling it out for survival will opt for the fashionable hi-tech specialties and ignore the less glamorous services so vital for the local communities they serve. This has been aided and abetted by the Government which
far from protecting 'core services' has allowed them to be diluted into designated services on which business led health authorities can decide

Another symptom of the crisis in the NHS is the widening health gap between people in different social classes. The biggest threat to health in the UK is poverty. Since the Black Committee set out its damning statistics ten years ago, no decade century has seen such a widening of
inequalities. Yet this issue is of such vital concern to the Government that they are still shuffling about with a green paper when the World Health Organisation's charter "Health for All" required them to have drawn up a comprehensive strategy by last year.

The green paper sets out several targets for health managers to aim at: reductions in deaths from strokes, cancers and coronary heart disease, increases in immunisation and breast feeding. But how this is to be achieved and what ministers will do is leftunsaid. Worse still, poverty, homelessness and cuts to the social security programmes are not even discussed. So much for the Prime Minister's commitment to a classless, open society with opportunity for all.

We live in an increasingly divided nation. We live too in an increasingly divided world. It is scandalous that we lavish millions on weapons of destruction and pride ourselves on unleashing a precision military machine against Iraq. Yet we cannot effectively organise emergency aid
to Bangladesh cyclone victims or to the millions starving in Africa. Why is it that the Kurds have to rely on fund-raising concerts for aid while the military Just turns to the exchequer? The end of the Cold War is making the peace dividend a reality.

But can we trust this Government to invest that windfall in overseas aid and in public services rather than fritter it away in tax cuts which benefit only the rich.

For over a decade the whole public sector has been under attack. Local authority services, schools and transport are all threatened by the dogmatic Tory onslaught. It is this political assault which the New Union ofCOHSE, NALGO and NUPE will be well placed to repel. As a union of 1.5 million strong, a union of providers and consumers of public services, we will dominate the public sector and be too large to ignore. I would like to thank those re-
sponsible for all the hard work that has gone into the months of talks.

The health group will be a crucial part of the New Union. It will be nearly half a million strong and one in six of the New Union's members will be a nurse. And they will have the backing of a powerful, democratic union run by and for the members united in their support for good, efficient and caring public services. At this Conference, we have the chance to help make this
vision a reality.

Over the last two years, many of us havebeen bogged down in clinical grading. The burden of appeal after appeal has taken its toll on our branch secretaries and on our activists. Our membership is declining We now need to reorientate ourselves and to concentrate on maintaining and building on our membership base. New Union or not, we have no future if we fail to recruit and make our presence felt at the workplace.

The Prime Minister has said that staff morale in the NHS has suffered because of Labour lies at Monmouth. But we are not managers and administrators intimidated by short term contracts and performance related pay into political submission. For us Monmouth demonstrated that we have the people solidly behind us in our fight to defend the National Health Service and the
result was the best possible boost to the morale of health service staff for many years,

As a public sector union with a long tradition of affiliation to the Labour Party there can be no greater challenge than the next General Election whenever it comes. Then we have the chance to rid ourselves of a Government hostile to the ethos of public service and the welfare state, hostile to the principles of trade unionism and hostile to air rewards to working people.

At the Election, there will be a simple choice: between a party committed to investment in public services and the creation of a democratically run National Health Service devoid of market principles and a rty committed only to dismantling the public sector and denying its staff a living

We in COHSE must not just make that choice ourselves, we must work relentlessly to ensure that our members, our families, our friends all fully understand the persistently gradual and devious threat to a freely available NHS. We must deliver an historic victory for Labour — not just in the North and Scotland but country wide. We owe it not only to ourselves but to the health service which our union helped create.

Colin Robinson
COHSE President 1991

Thursday, April 07, 2011

NHS Future Panel - A Total Stitch Up - OFFICIAL

Roy Lilley

My local hospital is Frimley Park, FT in Surrey. For around thirty years it has been run by the same excellent chief executive who has remained above the imbroglio of politics and distant from controversy. For some unfathomable reason, yesterday, he opened his doors to the political circus called the NHS Future Forum and condemned the hospital to be remembered, forever, as a crime scene. The felony was to kidnap a word from the English language, cut off its face and finger tips, and render it unrecognisable. A sequel, surely, to Martin Cruz Smith's thriller, Gorky Park. Whatever happened at Frimley Park was not 'listening'. The word is defaced and rendered unidentifiable. The leader of this Gilbert & Sullivan gang of felons, is none other than our old friend, failed CMO candidate and former RCGP leader 'gis-us-a-job' Steve Field. I'm told he commands little support in the professions, has made disparaging remarks about his successor (surely not) and, whilst in office, I thought gave the impression that RCGP docs were behind the reforms when a subsequent survey made it obvious they were not. Strange? His accomplices are: Dr David Kerr, parked after the Tories announced his appointment as an advisor, now to do work in the community; Steve Bubb boss of the ACEVO (or should that be ASBO?); Geoff Alltimes CE of London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (Conservative control); Dr Kathy Mclean (a former GP turned manager); and Julie Moore, graduate nurse, MA and anti-cuts boss of University Hosp Brum, presumably on probation?

There are four areas that are going to listened to:

· The role of choice and competition for improving quality;

· How to ensure public accountability and patient involvement in the new system;

· How new arrangements for education and training can support the modernisation process;

· How advice from across a range of healthcare professions can improve patient care.

6,000 responses in the proper consultation period, 700-odd amendments to the bill (pretty well all sidelined), an excoriating Select Committee Report mean nothing. We will now add; two months worth of public money for a fruitless exercise with a 'C' list of public sector celebrities and the reputation of a once impartial FT down the tubes. A million staff, all the Royal Colleges and the think tanks have said; it ain't gonna work - is anyone listening?

How can we be sure group are to be invovled in murder?

The forensic evidence is in the guts of a leaked memo sent, yesterday, from the Big Beast to senior NHS managers that highlights the 'no listening' areas:

"Today the Coalition Government will publish a document entitled 'Working Together for a Stronger NHS'. We will circulate a copy of this document as soon as it becomes available. (Don't bother we already have a copy and here it is).

It will make clear that during the listening exercise, the commitment to reform on the following remains firm and will go ahead:

· Commissioning to be led by GP consortia

· All Trusts to be Foundation Trusts

· Independent Commissioning Board to be established

· Health Watch to be established

· Increased role for Local Government in Health

· Abolishion of PCTs and SHAs

They are keen not to lose momentum, but there is recognition that during this listening phase a number of planned events cannot go ahead to the agreed timetable. Key things to be aware of include:

· PCTs still to be abolished April 2013

· SHAs still to be abolished but not until July 2012

· National Commissioning Board and new Monitor still to be established but now not until July 2012

The responses to key consultation documents such as Education and Training, Any Willing Provider which were due will not go ahead in this listening period.

National senior appointments such as the Chair of the National Commissioning Board and CE of NTDA will now not go ahead until after this period."

That's what you call listening!

The principle character, Renko, in Gorky Park was thought to suffer from a fictional illness called Pathoheterodoxy Syndrome, a misguided sense of arrogance.

It was said of Renko; "You have unreal expectations, and overestimate your personal powers, You feel isolated from society and mistrust the people who most want to help you. You think you are the exception of every rule. You underestimate collective intelligence - what it is right is wrong and what is wrong right".

'Nuff said? Are you listening?

Roy Lilley

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

UNISON Nurses meet Labour Health spokesman after Government "pause".

UNISON Nurses meet Labour Health spokesman after Government "pause".

"UNISON nurses and midwives meet with Labour Health spokesman John Healey and local Tooting MP Sadiq Khan at the House of Commons (4th April 2011) to discuss the on going campaign against the Coalition's NHS & Social Care Bill, after Conservative Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley was forced to invoke a two month pause in the passage of the Bill because of growing opposition from NHS professionals and the public.

Maureen Brown UNISON Nursing Convenor stated "The growing campaign against the NHS Bill, had forced the Government to pause, now we need to move forward with the public to ram home the overwhelming opposition to the NHS Bill and NHS privatisation".

John Healey stated the Government NHS proposals were now weighed down in "confusion, chaos and incompetence" he also referred to Andrews Lansley's ability to unite in opposition to his NHS Reforms former right wing Thatcherite Minister Norman Tebbit and rap star NxtGen, the later responsible for viral video hit Andrew Lansley NHS Rap.

Sadiq Khan MP stated "He would work tirelessly with UNISON, NHS staff and patients to defend the NHS from this vicious attack".

Kingston Midwives - Push for More Midwives

UNISON midwives and nurses at Kingston Hospital, Surrey held a candlelight vigil tonight (30th March 2011) to protest at the shortage of midwives at the hospital and to oppose the loss of 500 nursing and medical posts at the hospital.

Nora Pearce UNISON Midwifery Convenor stated

" UNISON is campaigning against the national shortage of midwives. We will be campaigning with local mothers to ensure Kingston hospital gets the resources it needs to continue a high quality service to mothers"

Michael Walker UNISON London Nursing Officer states

"The national shortage of Nurses and Midwives is being exacerbated by increased attendance at A&E and higher birth rates than projected, The Government needs to act urgently to avoid a crisis"

Nurses hold candlelight vigil against Kingston Hospital cuts

Nurses and midwives took to the streets outside Kingston Hospital in a candlelight vigil against cuts.

SUNDAY AM KIN/SC/ELM Nurses hold candlelight vigil against hospital cuts

Nurses hold candlelight vigil against hospital cuts

The hospital has announced money-saving plans to remove 486 posts over the next five years, including 214 nurses and midwives.

Helen Martin, a nurse at the hospital for more than 20 years and wife of Health Emergency campaigner Geoff Martin, said: "The fight for frontline, life-or-death services is well and truly on and we have no intention of letting the opportunistic politicians, who used our hospital for their own purposes, off the hook now our jobs are on the line."

After the vigil, on Wednesday night, public service union Unison has issued its own response to Kingston Hospital's draft business plan arguing that the approach to the cuts is flawed.

Unison midwife Nora Pearce, Julie Reay former Kingston and Richmond Health Authority chairman, and Unison representative Michael Walker were also at the vigil.

SUNDAY AM KIN/SC/ELM Nurses hold candlelight vigil against hospital cuts

Nurses hold candlelight vigil against hospital cuts

Staff at Kingston Hospital were joined by singer Billy Bragg when they joined last Saturday’s march through London against coalition cuts.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Andrew Lansley NHS Rap - 200k Hits - Now Nurses Anthem

Today's Observer has a story about the much loved anthem of NHS nurses, medics and staff, who are sick of the ill conceived NHS privatisation agenda of the Tory led Coalition.

The campaign against the dismantling of the NHS has got Tories and LibDems running scared and so they should. Focus groups used by the Governmnet show overwhelming opposition to the plans and NHS privatisation is now becoming a major issue in the run up to the May 5th local elections.

UNISON members will be
proud to see NxtGen was helped by UNISON to get his much loved NHS rap out.

Nora Pearce UNISON Nursing convenor at Kingston hospital stated "The popularity of the song amongst NHS staff was a credit to NxtGen and UNISON alike - Its just what we needed"

The Andrew Lansley rap has been viewed by over 200,000 people on You Tube, while a copy by medical out side the Department of Health during the 26th March demonstration has another 4,000

Andrew Lansley NHS rap becomes a viral hit

Recording of YouTube sensation by singing binman and doctors' cult hero MC NxtGen was funded by Unison

    Sean <span class=Donnelly" width="460" height="276">
    Sean Donnelly has now been asked to rap about the royal wedding. Photograph: Fabio De Paola

    His musical attack on Andrew Lansley's plans for the NHS has become a viral sensation on the web. But the story behind the rise of Sean Donnelly, aka MC NxtGen, to the status of cult hero among the nation's surgeons, doctors and nurses has remained something of a mystery.

    Now the Observer can reveal that the 22-year-old singer was given his helping hand by the health workers' union, Unison. Donnelly and his girlfriend, an occupational therapist and member of the union, contacted officials with the idea three weeks ago.

    The union insists that the words to the track are those of Donnelly, who is a binman by day, but admit that they were so impressed by his lyrics that they funded the recording and a film clip.

    The result has capitalised on strong opposition to the government's proposed reforms, with David Cameron expected to announce a delay this week in the publication of the health and social care bill until after local elections on 5 May. The prime minister is said to be increasingly worried about public opinion against change, demonstrated by the popularity of Donnelly's rap.

    By yesterday, a week since his clip was posted on YouTube, it had received 200,000 hits. Donnelly, from Loughborough, has now been contacted by BBC3 to feature on a forthcoming programme, and Channel 4 has asked him to write a rap on the subject of the royal wedding. "It has been a hectic week," said Donnelly. "I have got a few TV meetings lined up for next week – it's good, really good. I did the rap first and then thought Unison might be able to back me up so I got my girlfriend to put it through to them and they really liked it and got me the place to film it. It took about a day and a half. I don't think it cost much because Tom the video guy doesn't charge much.

    "I did the lyrics myself, went on the internet, did some research and put it together like a jigsaw and made it funny. And it has just spread."

    Filmed in Ash Field school, a special school for the physically disabled in Leicester, and eschewing the traditional hiphop themes of bling, booty and babes, Donnelly's three-minute rap about the Department of Health's white paper, Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS, is personally dedicated to the secretary of state for health.

    "Andrew Lansley, greedy, Andrew Lansley, tosser," runs the rap, over a sample taken from the Animals' House of the Rising Sun. "The NHS is not for sale, you grey-haired manky codger!"

    But if Donnelly is far from polite, he has certainly done his research. "So the budget of the PCTs, he wants to hand to the GPs/ Oh please. Dumb geeks are gonna buy from any willing provider,/ Get care from private companies."

    Later, he adds: "We'll become more like the US/ and care will be farmed out to private companies,/ who will sell their service to the NHS via the GPs/ who will have more to do with service purchase arrangements than anything to do with seeing their patients." He is now trying to release the track on iTunes.

    Lansley was moved to comment. "We will never privatise the National Health Service," he said. "But I'm impressed that he's managed to get lyrics about GP commissioning into a rap ."

    Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: "We want to use every means to let people know about the damage it will cause to the NHS.

Friday, April 01, 2011


Estate Agents Cameron, Clegg & Lansley, held a viewing of prime residential property - St Thomas’ Hospital in London today (1 April 2011). UNISON, the UK’s largest union, organised the spoof sell off to expose the huge dangers lurking in the Tory’s Health and Social Care Bill.

The union is warning that Lansley’s vanity project poses a health risk to patients, to the NHS and to the nurses, midwives, hospital porters and medical secretaries who keep our health service running.

Paste in front of the first paragraph:

Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:

“Selling off the NHS is no joke – but that’s exactly what’s the Health and Social Care Bill paves the way for. Even the Tories are waking up to the toxic prescription that the Health and Social Care Bill really is for our NHS.

“Handing over £80 billion to GPs is a reckless gamble. Doctors don’t want it, and it will poison the relationship between patients and their GP. Who wants to be sitting across from their doctor wondering if the treatment they are prescribed is what they need, or what the GP can afford to pay for?

“And taking the private income cap off hospitals when they are being hit with cuts is a recipe for disaster. Patients who can pay will be the top priority. NHS patients will be pushed to the back of the queue – eroding the core principles our NHS was founded on.

“It’s time to take the Health and Social Care Bill to the mortuary - where it belongs.”

The hospital sell off stunt is part of a nationwide day of action against the Health Bill, and ahead of the union’s annual health conference. Taking part in Liverpool, the health conference brings together 1200 delegates, representing UNISON’s 460,000 health workers.

UNISON’s big opposition to the titanic Health and Social Care Bill

* Big cuts in health spending. These are being taken from patient care and leading to job losses – including clinical staff – across the NHS.

* Opening up the NHS to private profit. Taxpayers’ money destined for NHS patients will be diverted into shareholder profits.

* NHS patients will be pushed to the back of the queue because the proposed Bill will take the cap off the amount hospitals can earn from private patients.

* It means competition, not co-operation. The government wants to run the NHS through competition between different health providers and market forces.

* It will create a huge postcode lottery. The care patients can expect will vary from place to place, increasing costs and health inequalities and hurting vulnerable people the most. No-one voted for this.

* The NHS is working and public satisfaction with the NHS is at an all time high. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lansley Rap - Dept of Health - 26th March Version

26th March TUC Demo

Click on photo to enlarge
UNISON Banners on the 26th March TUC Demo

Unison Aberdeen

Unison Aberdeenshire

Unison and UCU Stop the Cuts

Unison Barnet & Chase Farm Hospitals

Unison Barnet Local Government

Unison Basildon

Unison Bath and North East Somerset

Unison Bexley

Unison Birmingham (x 3)

Unison Black Members

Unison Blackpool Health

Unison Blood and Transplant Service

Unison Bolton Health Branch

Unison Bolton Metro Branch

Unison Bracknell Forest

Unison Bradford

Unison Brent

Unison Bridgend County Council Branch

Unison Brighton and Have

Unison Buckinghamshire health

Unison Calderdale

Unison Cambridge Healthcare Branch

Unison Camden and Islington Community Health Branch

Unison Camden

Unison Carmarthenshire County Branch

Unison Central Bristol Health Branch

Unison Central London Community Health Branch

Unison Central Manchester Healthcare Branch

Unison Charnwood

Unison City of Edinburgh

Unison City of Plymouth

Unison City of Sheffield Branch

Unison Cornwall Health Community Branch

Unison Croydon Nurses

Unison Cumbria County Council

Unison Darlington Local Government Branch

Unison Derbyshire Police

Unison Dorset County

Unison Dumfries and Galloway branch

Unison Dundee City Branch

Unison Durham County

Unison Ealing

Unison East London Mental Health branch

Unison East Midlands Police Service Group

Unison East Midlands

Unison East Sussex Area Branch

Unison Eastern Region

Unison Environment Agency Midlands

Unison Environment Agency South West

Unison Fareham Branch

Unison Filipino Nurses

Unison for Jobs, Growth and Justice

Unison Forth Valley Health Branch

Unison Gateshead Health Branch

Unison Gateshead Local Government Branch

Unison Glasgow City Branch

Unison Greater London – 1st Health Brigade

Unison Greater London Authority

Unison Greater London Region

Unison Greater London retired members

Unison Greenwich Local Government

Unison Grimsby and Goole Health Branch

Unison Haringey Health

Unison Haringey

Unison Hastings and Eastbourne healthcare

Unison Hertfordshire Community Healthcare Branch

Unison Hertfordshire County Branch

Unison Homerton University Hospital

Unison Hounslow Local Government Branch

Unison Housing Associations Branch

Unison Hull

Unison Inverclyde

Unison Isle of Wight Blood Collection Team

Unison Isle of Wight Healthcare Branch

Unison Isle of Wight Local Government Branch

Unison Isle of Wight

Unison Kensington and Chelsea local government

Unison Kingston Branch

Unison Kingston Hospital

Unison Kirklees

Unison Lambeth College

Unison Lambeth

Unison Lancashire Police Branch

Unison Leeds Metropolitan University

Unison LGBT

Unison Lincolnshire County Branch

Unison Liverpool Acute Hospitals Branch

Unison Liverpool Community and Hospitals Health Branch

Unison Local Government Branch

Unison Local Government Scotland

Unison London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Unison London Fire Brigade LFEPA

Unison London Met

Unison London Metropolitan University

Unison Manchester Advice

Unison Manchester Community and Mental Health

Unison Manchester

Unison Manweb

Unison Medway Towns Local Government

Unison Merthyr Tydfil

Unison Middlesex University

Unison Milton Keynes Area

Unison national banner

Unison Norfolk Local Government Branch

Unison North Somerset

Unison North Staffs Community Health

Unison North West Region LGBT Group

Unison North West Region

Unison North Yorkshire Branch

Unison Northern Region Healthcare Branch

Unison Northern Region

Unison Nottingham Healthcare Branch

Unison Notts County

Unison Notts Libraries

Unison Oxfordshire Health

Unison Plymouth-Welfare not Warfare

Unison Portsmouth City Branch

Unison Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich

Unison Reading Borough

Unison Rhondda Cynon Taff Branch

Unison Richmond Upon Thames (x 2)

Unison Rochdale

Unison Rotherham Health Service 13275 Branch

Unison Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust Branch

Unison Salford City Branch

Unison Salisbury Health Branch

Unison Scotland

Unison Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Unison Sefton Health Branch

Unison Sefton

Unison Senate House

Unison Shetland Local Services

Unison Shropshire

Unison Sir Ceredigion County Wales

Unison Skills Development Scotland Branch

Unison Soas

Unison South East Blood Service

Unison South East Region Health

Unison South East Region Retired Members

Unison South East Region

Unison South Gloucestershire

Unison South Kent

Unison South Lanarkshire

Unison South West London Community Health Branch

Unison South West London Mental Health

Unison South Western Ambulance Branch

Unison Southampton District Branch

Unison Southampton

Unison Southend on Sea Local Government Branch

Unison Southwark

Unison St Ceredigion County

Unison St George's Hospital, Wandsworth

Unison Staffordshire Branch

Unison Stockport Local Government

Unison Surrey County

Unison Swindon Branch

Unison Taunton Deane Branch

Unison Tayside Police Branch

Unison Thurrock Branch

Unison UCL

Unison University of Brighton

Unison Wales (x 2)

Unison Wales Health Branch

Unison Waltham Forest (x 2)

Unison West Cheshire

Unison West Midlands Region Birmingham Hospital Branch

Unison West Midlands Women

Unison West Sussex County Branch

Unison Westminster

Unison Whittington Health Branch

Unison Wiltshire Heath

Unison Wiltshire

Unison Wolfson Neuro rehabilitation Centre

Unison Wolverhampton Local Government Branch

Unison Women

Unison Worcester College

Unison Yorkshire Ambulance Service Branch

Unison Young Members City of Plymouth

Unison Young Members

Unison-Defend the NHS

Unison: Barnet

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Greedy Andrew Lansley Rap

Loughborough Rapper Fighting For NHS

A young rapper from Loughborough has put the controversial subject of NHS reforms into the lyrics of his latest video.

Sean Donnelly is a binman by day but his real passion takes over when he performs as Nxtgen. His girlfriend works as an Occupational Therapist and he was inspired to write it about Andrew Lansley MP for South Cambridgeshire and Secretary of State for Health, after she voiced concerns about the NHS’s future.

The coalition Government’s proposed reforms to the NHS could lead to a US-style system and many believe this will result in the NHS changing beyond recognition.

Sean’s continued rise in the rap world was reported on recently by the Mercury’s website and this latest production is bound to create mixed views from those on both sides of the political divide.

The young reporters of the Leicester Wave newspaper are looking to interview Sean in a forthcoming issue about his career and also the ‘Andrew Lansley Rap“.

More from Leicesters Citizen Eye...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Ed Hall Union Banner To Be Unveiled Saturday 26th March TUC Demo

South West London Mental Health Branch

Members and officers of South West London & St Georges Mental Health Trust branch of the health care Union - UNISON, will have the pleasure of unveiling their new UNISON branch banner at
the TUC Demonstration in London on Saturday 26th March 2011.

The artists who created the banner, was famous London trade union banner maker Ed Hall, responsible for hundreds of beautiful trade union banners.

Michael Walker UNISON Regional Officer who was responsible for the design describes the relevance of the iconography on the banner.

The colours used in the banner are those of UNISON of purple, green and white and are in turn based upon the WSPU suffragette colours. (chosen in 1908 by Emmeline Pethick Lawrence).

Nursing staff and Asylum attendants in period uniforms of 1910, hold up the banner and is taken from a graphic used on the front of the National Asylum Workers Union journal in its earliest years.

The logo's and slogan "All For One and One For All" at the bottom of the banner are from the original National Asylum Workers Union est 1910.

In the centre of the banner is the main building at Springfield hospital built in 1840.
Surrey County Lunatic Asylum (later known as Wandsworth Asylum) opened on 14th June 1841, catering for 350 bed. Note the red flag flying from its rooftop.

At the bottom of the banner, left side - the cat represents Syndicalism and at the bottom right side a Rat (the bosses - as used on the Friern Barnet banner).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bankers' Taunt Nurses - Now Tories Freeze Nurses Pay

What a Banker!!!!! A member of staff at <span class=
Deutsche Bank taunts NHS rally" title="What a Banker!!!!! A member of staff at Deutsche Bank taunts NHS rally" border="0">

eutsche Bankers taunt low paid nurses last week


UNISON, the UK¹s largest union, today reacted angrily to news that the Government is freezing pay for all NHS workers, except those earning below £21,000, calling it ³a bitter blow² for hardworking staff including nurses, paramedics and therapists.

The union dismissed the £250 for those earning under £21,000 such as cleaners, healthcare assistants, cooks, porters and switchboard staff as a totally inadequate token gesture. The increase is below inflation and with the cost of everyday essentials rising, it will be wiped out very quickly.

UNISON is holding its health conference next month in Liverpool where it is widely expected that delegates will vote to reject attempts to reduce pay, as well as pledging to fight back to preserve jobs and services.

The NHS Pay Review Body was hide-bound by the Government¹s pay freeze diktat
across the public sector and the union warned that staff are already angry over Government interference with the independence of the PRB and today's decision will rile health workers further.

To add to health workers¹ problems the pay freeze comes hard on the heels of increased pensions¹ contributions in the recent Hutton report.

Mike Jackson, Senior National Officer for Health, said:

³The Government¹s decision to freeze pay is another bitter blow for hard-working NHS staff.

³The squeeze on NHS finance is already placing a heavy burden on health workers. They see jobs being cut, operations cancelled or delayed and patients suffering as a result.

³It is completely unjust for the Government to make nurses, paramedics, therapists and skilled NHS staff the fall-guys for the financial crisis brought down on the country by the bankers.

³The £250 is a totally inadequate token gesture designed to salve the conscience of coalition MPs. They know that health workers did not cause the crisis, that inflation is going up and that families, already struggling with mounting debts and rising inflation, will suffer because of their decision today.

³I expect widespread anger over pay at UNISON¹s Health Conference next month. The job cuts, cancelled operations and longer waiting times are deeply distressing for health workers and the pay freeze is likely to be the final straw.²


Notes to Editors

This is the 4th year out of 5 that health workers have had a below inflation
pay award.

RPI rates (March) Pay uplift (April)
2005/6 3.2% 3.225
2006/7 2.4% 2.5% (but only worth 1.9% in England due
to staging)
2007/8 4.8% 2.5%
2008/9 3.8% 2.75%
2009/10 -0.4% 2.4%
2010/11 4.4% 2.25%
2011/12 5.1% (Feb) 0% (1.8% - 1.2% for those below £21K)

Total 23.3% 15.625%

In real terms NHS pay has now fallen back to pre 2005 levels.

Staff now facing NI increase of 1%

Pensions increase of at least 3% 2012-14

Further pay freeze in 2012.

The Coalition of millionaires reward greedy bankers and cut the pay of nurses.