On Wednesday, 9 March 2016, junior doctors are starting a 48 hour strike - the first of three further industrial actions protesting against changes to the junior doctor’s contracts. The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers fully supports the actions of junior doctors and calls on the Government to reconsider its decision to unilaterally impose the new contracts.
The Haldane Society notes that the new contracts being forced upon junior doctors will force them to work longer hours for 30% less pay. Coupled with the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act, these changes to the NHS facilitate the privatisation of health services. This is the latest step by the Government to cut funding and working conditions in a public service and to smooth the way for privatisation.
The Haldane Society has similarly campaigned to protect legal aid against severe and excessive cuts. Over the last years, legal aid has been removed from many areas of civil law and new criminal legal aid contracts were imposed in such a deeply flawed process that they had to be withdrawn. In the same way as has been seen with junior doctors, public lawyers were misrepresented as being concerned about their wages rather than the provision of public services. The Haldane Society condemns the attack on public services which extends to all sectors affecting librarians, teachers, and local authorities amongst others. George Osborne has indicated that this is only the beginning and further cuts will be introduced in the near future.
The Haldane Society reiterates its support for junior doctors and emphasises that the challenges to cuts in public services are about more than salaries. This is about protecting our public services.
BMA, “Junior Doctors: fight against imposition begins,” 23 February 2016, available at: http://www.bma.org.uk/news-views-analysis/news/2016/february/junior-doctors-fight-against-imposition-begins
 J Stone, “Michael Gove has scrapped the Government’s planned legal aid cuts,” The Independent, 28 January 2016, available at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/legal-aid-cuts-michael-gove-scraps-u-turn-a6839996.html
 N. Khomami, “UK Library closures and the fights to save them,” The Guardian, 17 December 2015 available at: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/dec/17/library-closures-campaigns-fights-cuts-uk
 M. Leftly, “Thousands of teachers preparing to strike over cuts to sixth form college funding,” The Independent, 9 January 2016, available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/thousands-of-teachers-preparing-to-strike-over-cuts-to-sixth-form-college-funding-a6804096.html
 P. Butler, “Councils face billions more in budget cuts from April,” The Guardian, 17 December 2015, available at: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/17/councils-face-billions-more-budget-cuts-april-england-local-authorities-funding-settlement
 N. Watt, “George Osborn warns of further cuts as storm clouds’ gather,” The Guardian, 26 February 2016, available at: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/feb/26/george-osborne-further-cuts-storm-clouds-economic-budget