TUC to organise 'Save Our NHS' rally at Conservative Party conference

By agency reporter
25 Jul 2013

Thousands of trade unionists will tell the Conservative Party conference to 'save our NHS' as anger mounts at the effects of cuts, privatisation and the increasing fragmentation of the health service. Marchers will speak out for jobs and services as they bring their opposition to austerity to the opening Sunday of the Manchester conference.

The Save Our NHS march and rally takes place in the city on Sunday 29 September. People from across the North West and beyond are being urged to join the three-mile march.

The full listing for the rally is still to be confirmed but will include a range of national and local speakers, including TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady.

Save Our NHS is being organised by the North West Trades Union Congress and unions in the region. There has been close co-operation with Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council to ensure that it is a safe and family-friendly event. A launch event in Manchester at the Mechanic's Institute will encourage charities and community organisations to get involved.

The September protest will highlight the impact of huge job losses and spending cuts across the health service, as well as the rapid sell-off of the most lucrative parts of the NHS to private healthcare companies - many of whom like Circle are also Conservative Party donors.

The event will also raise concerns about the wider effect that government economic policies are having upon communities across the UK, and the TUC will be encouraging people from across the North West, and from further afield, who want to send a strong message to the Conservative part of the coalition to do so across a range of issues.

They say these might include calls for the bedroom tax to be scrapped, a halt to plans to privatise the Royal Mail, the introduction of proper job guarantees for the close to a million young unemployed, and an end to austerity and damaging spending cuts.

Commenting on the Save Our NHS event, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said: "As the effects of the government's NHS changes become more apparent every day, anger is growing. Before this government came to power satisfaction with the NHS was high, now it is falling as cuts, privatisation and fragmentation bite."

[Ekk/4]

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