United in Call for End to Austerity, Healthcare Cuts, and a Robin Hood Tax
Major nurse and healthcare union organizations marched, rallied, and held other actions in 13 countries Tuesday in the first coordinated global day of action in a call to stop the harmful effects of austerity measures, cuts in health care services, improved patient care, and economic healing and recovery.
Many of the actions, including a colorful march and rally in New York City by thousands of members of healthcare, labor, and community groups also stepped up the push for a tax on financial speculation, also known as the Robin Hood tax to raise the hundreds of billions of dollars from the banks and speculators to promote the global healing. The New York action also marked the second anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the opening of the United Nations General Assembly.
The international events were the first series of events stemming from the June founding of Global Nurses United which united the leading nurse and healthcare unions in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe to work together.
In addition to the huge New York march, other highlights included:
- Australia – scores of nurses and midwives rallying across Sydney, including at the New South Wales Parliament House for nurse-to-patient ratios and opposing budget cuts. Queensland nurses held workplace actions, published ads, took other actions in support of the global day
- Honduras – thousands rallying in front of the government house in Tegucigalpa for improved patient care in the public hospitals and the hiring of more nurses
- Dominican Republic – actions in Santo Domingo and Santiago calling on the government to increase funding for vital public health services
- South Korea – a march by 1,000 nurses and allies on the Korean National Assembly in Seoul, September 12 demanding an end to austerity, and a call to save the big Jin Ju Medical Center, and pass the Robin Hood Tax
- Canada – nurses rallying in Calgary, Alberta against cuts in the provincial healthcare system
- Guatemala – thousands joining a mobilization in Guatemala City to oppose austerity measures and pass the Robin Hood tax
- Argentina – an action demanding full funding of public health care, respect for the rights of nurses and other health care workers, and in support of the Robin Hood Tax.
- Costa Rica – health care workers rallying to demand nurses’ rights to collectively bargain and to strike and will then deliver a demand to the government to fully fund public health care
- South Africa – nurses stepped up a petition drive to oppose austerity measures and support the Robin Hood tax. That followed an action earlier in the week office when nurses and allies marched on the Ministry of Health in the Eastern Cape province demanding solutions to the chronic health problems facing the province.
- Brazil – rally to call on the Minister of Health and the President act on a law to limit working hours of all nursing professionals to 30 hours a week along with the launch of a national forum to press for improved working conditions for nursing professionals
Nurses and health workers in the Philippines, Ireland, also participated in the global day of action. Select photos from around the world: