February 2019

In defiance of government spin nurses cry Enough is enough

Date:

The West’s awake, so too the other provinces, as defiant nurses and midwives take to the picket lines. Buoyed by massive public support, members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) took part in their first strike in 20 years.

Generally feeling undervalued and suffering the effects of prolonged understaffing and hospital overcrowding these workers counter-intuitively withdrew their labour in the first of a series of 24-hour work stoppages.

Known for their dedication and immense sense of good will which has for decades covered up the cracks in a health service that itself seems to be in ill-health, this female dominated profession has once again risen up to say “Enough is enough!”

Brexit & a border poll - an anarchist view on the possibilities and consequences

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“Every exclusively political revolution that is in defence of national independence or for internal change... [and] that does not aim at the immediate and real political and economic emancipation of people, will be a false revolution. Its objectives will be unattainable and its consequences reactionary.” Michael Bakunin.

With less the two months until the Brexit deadline, the North of Ireland remains on edge as the British PM announces plans to deploy police reinforcements to six counties echoing past images for many of aggressive border checkpoints and control stoking up conflict.
In the the midst of this Brexit spectacle the real war continues to ravage the streets, housing estates and workplaces across the North in the form of a brutal austerity agenda of class warfare in cuts to public services and social welfare under the Stormont Fresh Start Agreement resulting in misery and deprivation for the many while the wealthy few have never had it so good on a local and global level. According to a recent report released by Oxfam in January this year ‘Billionaire fortunes increased by 12 percent last year – or $2.5 billion a day - while the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity saw their wealth decline by 11 percent’ (1)

Huge march for the nurses but serious concerns over proposed deal

Date:

In the aftermath of the huge march in support of the nurses on Saturday [video] the government suddenly found a pay deal it could put on the table, leading to the INMO suspending the strike until that deal is discussed and voted on.

According to RTE the suggested deal, which some nurses have expressed strong reservations about, would see a "new grade being created including the Enhanced Nurse Practice Grade which is a pay scale that is higher than the existing scale, by an average €2,000 to €2,500 – around 7% - and will range from €35,806 to €45,841 per annum. Nurses would be eligible to apply for the enhanced grade after four years' service."

Review of Conor McCabe talk on Money

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Conor McCabe delivered a talk entitled ‘Money’ hosted by Comhlámh. Conor is a research fellow, writer and educator. The talk is available to view as a video on Comhlámh’s FB page.

His talk started with a joke, but the joke was just reported as staight news. The OECD produced figures that showed that the Irish worker is currently the most productive worker that has ever existed, globally. The Irish worker in 2017 was adding €87 to the value of the economy for every hour worked. The joke is that this figure is arrived at by crude mathematics which divides the size of the Gross Domestic Product, by the number of hours worked, not taking into account our functioning as a tax haven. That’s the joke, but at a time when the nurses are on strike for fair pay it is hard to find any of this funny.

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