It has been a while since I last emailed. Everyoneone is incredibly busy and the cuts continue. I just wanted to ensure people that we are still here and that we intend to hold an annual general meeting soon (probably in April) to elect our officers etc. for 2018-19.
In the meantime, there are a few things coming up:
This Saturday (tomorrow) We have a stall arranged at the 'Jazz for Labour' event with Courtney Pine (and guest speaker John McDonnell MP) in the Leatherhead Theatre. I believe there are still tickets available if you want to come along https://www.theleatherheadtheatre.com/jazzforlabour.
LOCAL PAY RALLY 7 APRIL
Surrey County UNISON, with the support of the regional UNISON office, have organised a rally against austerity and for a fair pay rise for all. This event will be on 7th April at 2pm in the Runnymede constituency of Philip Hammond MP – the current Chancellor of the Exchequer. Runnymede is also where the Magna Carta was signed which protects the right of people to free speech and to protest (amongst other things). They have set up a Facebook event which will be regularly updated here:https://www.facebook.com/events/813239645526585/. Please think about coming along and bringing your colleagues, friends and family. Bring banners!
A letter for trade union branches and an initial flyer for the event is attached (which also advertises the TUC march and rally on 12th May on the back).
WE ARE THE LIONS MR MANAGER – showing at the Electric Theatre, Guildford on 25th March
This is an exciting new play from the Townsend Theatre company, which is about Jayabe Desai’s inspirational fight for freedom, equality & human dignity as part of the famous Grunwick Strike 1976-78. Paul Couchman, SOSiS Secretary, will be speaking at the after-show talk. You can book tickets here:https://electric.theatre/shows/wearethelions/
NHS 70th BIRTHDAY EVENTS
The NHS will be 70 in July this year. We should think about organising an event/events to celebrate and to continue to fight against privatisation and for an NHS publicly-owned, publicly-managed and free to all. There is a major London demo planned on 30th June by Health Campaigns Together and the Peoples Assembly Against Austerity.
Scrap the Public Sector Pay Cap - Rally this Sunday in Brighton with John McDonnell, Len McCluskey and more...
Come to the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) TUC Congress Rally in Brighton Sept 10: ‘Smash the Tory pay cap!’
NSSN TUC Congress Rally in Brighton: ‘Fight together to scrap the Tory pay cap!’ – 1pm Sunday September 10th in the Arundel Suite in the Holiday Inn, 137 King’s Rd BN1 2JF. Confirmed speakers: Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Len McCluskey Unite General Secretary, Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary, Steve Gillan POA General Secretary, Ronnie Draper BFAWU General Secretary, Dave Ward CWU General Secretary, Sean Hoyle RMT President, Amy Murphy USDAW Southern Division NEC member and Len Hockey Secretary Unite Barts NHS Trust branch – currently on strike. Chaired by Janice Godrich PCS National President – all welcome! We will also be giving a platform to speakers from other current disputes to build solidarity
Over 80 NHS supporters crammed into the Walton Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre to watch the film SELL OFF and hear our panel of speakers, which included the ex-CEO of Ashford and St Peter's, a Junior Doctor from the Royal Marsden and Dr Bob Gill, who stars in the film. This was one of our best events and we hope that those who attended will have been angered and inspired enough to get active with Save Our Services and help us defend our public services. Pictures below.
As usual, our steering committee was positive and action-focussed.
Confirmed speakers on the panel for our film showing and discussion next Thursday at the Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre in Walton are Aislinn Macklin-Doherty, a Junior Doctor and Cancer specialist working at the Royal Marsden - see her promoting the sequel to SELL OFF here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab4fyqCKStE
Dr Bob Gill, a GP and health campaigner (who appears throughout the film) and Stephen Fash (ex-Chief Executive of Ashford ad St Peter's Hospital Trust) who is campaigning to save the Blanche Heriot Unit at St Peter's. Matt Clarke (SOSiS Chair, will preside)
Tickets are still available (although half the seats have been sold) at just £5 each at the box office:
Put Tuesday 26th September at 1pm in your diaries. We will be lobbying the SCC Cabinet before presenting our 2,500 signature petition to save Spelthorne's fire services. More nearer the date.
Notes from the meeting
Attendees - Helen Couchman, Paul Couchman, Liz Mansfield, Steve Trafford, Jon Button, Roger Bowen, Fiona Corr, Veena Siva and Karen Lyons.
Apologies from Matt Clarke, Thelma Snelgrove, Ginny Eaton, Iain Raymond and Mick Dawson.
SOSiS have been busy during July. Since our emergency NHS meeting in Staines in June we have attended the national demonstration in London on 1st July called by the People's Assembly Against Austerity. We marched with the Truth About Zane contingent, reaffirming our support for the family's campaign for truth.
We then spent all day Sunday 2nd July at the Staines Fire Station Open Day collecting signatures on the petition to save Spelthorne's fire services from cuts. We now have over 1,200 online and almost 2,000 written signatures to hand in to SCC. Closing date is mid-august so please sign if you haven't already.
On 5th July, we supported Surrey UNISON members collecting signatures on a giant birthday card to the NHS from the TUC and Health Campaigns Together at St Peters Hospital in the morning and then at the NW Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) AGM in Woking in the afternoon.
On 14th July we supported the UNISON lobby of SCC Adults and Health Select Committee over the proposed cuts in health services in Surrey.
Our next meeting will be another public showing of the film 'Sell Off' about the cuts, closures and privatisation of the NHS. A venue is being sought in Spelthorne for a showing at the end of August. Watch this space.
Photos and reports from all the above activities have been posted on our FB page https://www.facebook.com/SOSinSurrey/ and on the Surrey UNISON FB page https://www.facebook.com/SurreyUNISON/.
We will also post a selection here.
Just a brief update from our emergency meeting last night (called in repsonse to threatened cuts to key services within Ashford and St Peters Hospitals.
This was a good meeting, called at short notice. Representatives of the Labour, Green, Socialist and Lib Dem parties were present, along with a representative from Ashford North Residents Association and concerned local residents.
There was a long discussion around proposed local NHS cuts and how they link in to national cuts, closures and privatisation as part of the Susainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) aiming to cut £22billion from health services by 2020.
Under fairly immediate threat are:
* the Blanche Heriot (genito-urinary and sexual health) Unit at St Peters - a petition to save the unit can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/keep-blanche-heriot-unit-at-st-peter-s-hospital-open
* the childrens neurological unit at Ashford Hospital (supporting nearly 2,000 local children with autism, ADHD and other neurological conditions). The service is due to close and be reprovisioned in August.
It was agreed to support two events for now, with the possibility of calling emergency meetings or protests where necessary:
Friday 14 July - UNISON lobby of Surrey County Council public health scrutiny group meeting (Adults and Health Select Committee) at 9.30am (meeting starts at 10am), County Hall, Kingston KT1 2DN.
To Be Arranged - a showing of the film 'Sell Off', produced by concerned NHS professionals warning that the NHS we know and love may not make it to its 70th birthday next year due to cuts, closures and privatisation. You can also view the film on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ultKvnw2h3Q
If you use facebook you can like our FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/SOSinSurrey/
We also have a Spelthorne Residents Against Austerity FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1956682377952141/
Trade Unionists wanting to hear about the growing fightback against austerity can come to the National Shop Stewards Network conference on 1st July: http://shopstewards.net/activate/events/
For those interested - there is also a meeting of the North West Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group where questions can be asked about local services.
NORTH WEST SURREY CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The North West Surrey CCG will hold its Annual General Meeting at the HG Wells Centre, Church Street East, Woking GU21 8EW on Wednesday 5 July 2017 between 12.30 and 3.00 pm.
Everyone is welcome to attend to hear about the work of the CCG, its achievements in 2016-17, the annual accounts and plans for the financial year.
Tea, coffee and light refreshments will be available from 12.30 pm and there will be a wide range of information displays to view in the marketplace.
For more information and to register to attend please phone on 01372 232463 or emailComms@nwsurreyccg.nhs.uk
Secretary, Save Our Services in Surrey
This is where we will try to publish anti-cuts news we receive