Not another Strike !
A major result of the current Government cutbacks is strikes. Latest strikes are in support of Health Visitors.
Currenty Health visitors employed by Lincolnshire county council, are striking. Initially this is for six days as they say they are not getting paid the rate for the job, plus erosion of their professional responsibilities, which could adversely impact vulnerable families.
Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, says the Lincolnshire health visitors voted to strike by an 84% majority.
The first stoppages were last week, with the next strike on 22nd July. This will be followed by a 48 hour strike on 25 July. All the strikes will start at 00:01.
Pillars of the Community
These unsung heroes of the NHS are becoming scarcer. Once they provided seemless care in the community, which often meant we could return home earlier from hospital. They helped us with ‘little’ things that kept up independence, and sorted out aids and care which meant we could get on with life.
Now cut-backs mean they are not being replaced when one retires, or moved to other jobs. You would imagine that this essential health support would come under the NHS umbrella. But instead, it is local Councils that pick up the bill,. They have been quick to cut back services, as an easy way of saving money. Now residents are getting wise to this; one reason for the massive swing to ‘alternative’ political parties, such as The Greens, at the last Council Elections.
But in politics wheels grind slowly, and soon these essential support staff will become defunct, like the Dodo – unless something is done to retain them.
Unite lead professional officer Jane Beach says: “
“The council, (Linconlshire) which says it values the health visitors does not seem concerned that in its words a ‘minority’ (the 58 health visitors) feel so undervalued that they are taking this action. The council refuses to recognise that this is an experienced workforce who should be paid as such. The council talk about ‘growing their own’ with little regard for those it already has. This is so short sighted, as without practitioners to support those new to the profession, it will end up with an inexperienced workforce who are more likely to leave than stay.”
Strikes always cause problems – but for once let’s hope those on strike get support from their community. Else the community will be the losers when they are no more.