Austerity is unhealthy

Doctors, nurses, and civil servants on strike united in claim that austerity in health sector must end, and pre-crisis levels of investment restored

According to the Guardia Urbana in Barcelona, a crowd of around 8,000 people came together yesterday, made up of students, primary and secondary school teachers, university staff and professors, as well as members of other public services such as firefighters and social workers, and members of the health service, already on strike, to decry what they claim is a budgetary crisis in public services, brought on by long years of austerity since the economic crisis in Spain. Marching behind a banner which read “Towards a social budget: cut the cuts”, the demonstration marched from Plaça de la Universitat to the Catalan Parliament, resounding with chants demanding an increase in public service purchasing power, the reduction of university fees, prompt payment of outstanding overtime, a reduction in the number of students per classroom, along with other slogans pertaining to the various sectors represented. The march in the capital was mirrored in other major urban centres, such as Girona, Tarragona, Lleida and Tortosa, and coincided with the fourth day of strike summoned by primary care workers, a single day of strike action by public educators, and a two-hour strike held by civil servants held from twelve noon. A wide variety of unions and pressure groups organised the march, calling for “essential improvements” to the terms and conditions of public workers. Their assertion is that those working in the public sector at the time of the crisis were assured these adjusted conditions would only be temporary, but now despite five straight years of economic growth, the unfavourable conditions persist.

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