An overworked, underpaid, and demoralised health sector cannot work best for all patients, including trans patients. The Coalition Government’s attacks on NHS workers are just one part of a wider plan to weaken and sell off parts of this service which, although not perfect, is an essential service. And as the recent film Pride has shown, it is through common struggle that the bonds of solidarity are forged; when doctors, nurses and other NHS workers see trans and queer people supporting their cause, they are going to be more amenable to supporting ours. For those reasons, Action for Trans Health are calling on trans and queer activists to support the public health sector strikes that are happening week commencing 13th October.
Nine unions representing NHS workers are out on strike for the first time in 32 years in protest over pay and conditions. For some unions, like the Royal College of Midwives, it will be their first strike in their 132 year history. There will be a 4 hour strike from 7am – 11am on Monday 13th October, followed by 4 days of action where NHS workers actually take the breaks that are legally entitled to them. The week of action will be rounded off with a TUC organised rally in London on the 18th October.
What you can do:
Pop down to your local picket on Monday 13th 7am – 11am to join striking workers in solidarity. Bring baked goods and hot coffee, maybe signs saying something like “Trans people support the strike” or similar. Chat to striking workers and use this opportunity to talk about health sector pay and conditions, and to talk to them about Action for Trans Health or other trans healthcare activism. More information about where local pickets will be will be posted as that information becomes available.
Join the TUC rally in London on the 18th October. The TUC are arranging travel from all areas of the country, see their website tuc.org.uk and search for your local area for more details.
Change your profile pictures, avatars, etc. to a selfie of yourself with a sign saying “trans people support the strike” / or similar. Tweet, tumblr, and use facebook to raise awareness of the strike.
If you do show your support for striking NHS workers, please let us know how. Send us your photos of you on pickets, with signs, or at the rally to info@actionfortranshealth.