NHS workers in England - including those at the top of the pay band- will be on the same rate of pay in April 2016 as they were on in April 2013... As unions, we have deliberately tried to take action that would minimise the impact on patients by only having a four- hour stoppage. Yet the underlying message we are getting from the Government's refusal to negotiate a settlement is that when, and until, it impacts on patients they won't take it seriously. So where does this leave us? Do they want us to escalate the action and cause real harm or will they talk to us about a reasonable settlement?
We've got plenty to fight against. In recent months the Tories have been very keen to talk up the so-called 'economic recovery'. George Osbourne claims that the minimal growth showing in recent figures vindicates his austerity policies. In reality, not only has the British economy barely moved from stationary to first gear.
The Sun cannot possibly continue for much longer against this groundswell of opinion. But given its stringent, seemingly intractable, position of defending Page 3, it seems that it has boxed itself in. There are rumours that News International has created a task force to look at how Page 3 could be revamped and modernised. Yet how to do this without losing face?
The founding principle of the NHS is that it is free at the point of need. Can the new system in England sustain this? Will healthcare be free for long-term conditions such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis etc probably yes - even this right wing market driven government may not go so far as to change that.