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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #286 - Psychiatry: We tighten our belts, or we climb on the roof (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 12 Sep 2018 08:20:00 +0300

In Seine-Maritime, health workers understood that nothing would be gained without extraordinary, even dangerous, actions. Always in unity, and perfectly self-organized. ---- The entire hospital sector suffers neoliberal breakage, but if it is a discipline that suffers particularly, because of its specific field of activity and the originality of its organization, it is psychiatry. Conditions are deteriorating terribly. For lack of space, it is not uncommon to put mattresses on the floor, or to take in minors in adult services... ---- On March 22, anger broke out in the Rouvray hospital (76), the third psychiatric structure in France: it calls for 52 additional positions and the opening of a reception for adolescence. But after two months of strike, the management did not give an inch. Exasperation wins: eight employees start a hunger strike and camp in the lobby. Bluffing ? Not at all. After eighteen days, four are hospitalized, others take over. The media are relaying, support is growing, especially among railway workers and dockers in struggle.

On the nerves, the prefect requires the director of the Regional Health Agency (ARS) to sit at the negotiating table. Result: the ARS sells 30 positions and the creation of 2 new units, including one for adolescence. In the current context, it is a historic victory.

Contagious Victory
In a perfect democratic unity, the fight was animated at the same time on the inter-union CGT-SUD-CFDT-CFTC, by a committee of strike counting unionized and non-unionized, and by a collective of employee They are named Black Blouses. Decisions were always debated and decided by the General Assembly, which controlled the delegates at each stage of the negotiations.

Is this the task of oil ? Still, on June 16, it is the psychiatric center Pierre-Janet, Le Havre, which in turn goes on an unlimited strike, with an inter-union CGT-SUD-CFDT. Claims: 50 additional nursing stations and the opening of a new unit. Interpele.es, the elected officials of the Region make vague promises - to visit the strikers, " firmly ask " the ARS to unlock resources ...

And, again, the action is out of the ordinary. After ten days, 7 employees camp on the roof of psychiatric emergencies day and night, in the heat, with the support of colleagues. Social networks and the local press echo Janet's perch . MP Ruffin is moving. All this forces the public authorities to negotiate and, on July 10, after twenty-six days of strike and sixteen days on the roof, the management concedes an agreement to the inter-union, validated the same day by the general meeting of staff. The strong mobilization, the union unity, the youth of the movement and its inventiveness made it possible to snatch the creation of 34.3 full-time equivalent positions.

These struggles will be a milestone both in their duration and their modes of action and their victorious conclusions. Let's not hide it: we were afraid for colleagues who put their health at risk, especially since we felt that the camp opposite was not ready to give up. But now, everyone knows that other victories are possible if you put the price. In health, only a general movement of the entire sector can stop the killing of the public service. In this year of professional elections in the hospital public service, the unions must federate the struggles in the sector ... but nothing will be done without the self-organization of the workers !

Eric (AL Rouen, link Eure)

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