HOW wonderful people must have felt with Teresa May’s Tory Party Conference announcement that austerity is over!

Perhaps she can join David Crausby MP at noon on Friday (October 12) in the town hall square, where he will be addressing striking NHS workers.

News of austerity’s demise hasn’t reached these workers. Indeed the employers are attempting to break terms and conditions only agreed last year.

Bolton Hospital Trust outsourced a number of essential services to an arms-length company in 2017 (Integrated Facilities Management ­— IFM ­— a wholly owned subsidiary of Bolton NHS Trust).

Since then, IFM has sought to undermine pay and conditions agreements.

The most recent attempt by UNISON to persuade IFM management to honour their pay agreements has now failed, and there will be an all-out 48-hour strike next week, from 7am Thursday, October 11, until 7am Saturday, October 13.

This will involve staff in cleaning, catering, portering and security.

Bolton TUC has given its full support to these striking hospital workers, and calls upon everyone to show their support to the pickets (at Minerva Road and Plodder Lane hospital entrances), and attend the town hall square rally at noon on Friday.

Austerity will not go away under the Tories. Bolton hospital workers are showing the best way to fight austerity is to insist on decent pay and conditions.

The alternative is simply more austerity, and an increasingly fragmented and privatised NHS.

Tom Hanley

Media Correspondent

Bolton TUC