Subjects include: harsh employment conditions in Victorian mental asylums; Asylum Workers Superannuation Act 1904 requiring employee pension contributions led to formation of National Asylum Workers Union in 1910; formation of Poor Law Workers’ Trade Union in 1918, the National Union of County Officers from 1929; campaign to improve conditions for nurses in 1930s; Bodmin and Radcliffe asylum strikes, 1918 and 1922; George Gibson, general secretary, 1912-1947; merger of Mental Hospital and Institutional Workers’ Union with Hospitals and Welfare Services Union to form COHSE in 1947; formation of National Health Service; successful COHSE campaigns for pay increases for student nurses in 1948 and for nurses in 1962; lobby of parliament by ambulance workers in 1965; successful campaign on behalf of ancillary workers, 1972; Halsbury Enquiry into pay and conditions of nurses and midwives, 1974; campaigns against National Health Service cuts in 1970s; TUC-led campaign for NHS workers involving COHSE and other unions, 1982; final COHSE conference and national executive committee meeting, 1993; satirical performance on history of health service policy at Theatre Royal, Stratford East.
Narrated by Neil Kinnock. Speakers: Marie Burridge, regional officer, 1968-1976 (0:44-1:08, 9:49-10:19); Colm O’Kane, deputy general secretary (4:36-5:16); Bert Waites, general secretary, 1948-1969 (10:27-11:56); David Williams, general secretary, 1983-1987 (13:16-14:29; 16:21-17:04, 22:18-22:35); Dr Cyril Taylor, Walton branch founder member, 1948 (14:48-15:21); Bob Vickerstaff, president, 1965-1976 (extract from sound recording of 1972 speech) (18:08-18:26); Barbara Castle (18:41-19:58, 20:45-20:59); Lord Halsbury (19:58-20:32); Judith Carter, national officer (21:35-22:18, 22:57-23:33); Albert Spanswick, general secretary, 1974-1983 (extract from speech, 1982) (22:36-22:56); Hector Mackenzie, general secretary (24:33-25:50); unnamed workers speaking in support of Unison (25:51-26:26); extracts from speech to 1993 conference by Tim Bryson, Huntingdon and district branch (27:06-27:30), Bob Abberley, national officer (27:36-28:42), John Smith, leader of the Labour Party (28:51-29:58), David Blunkett, shadow health secretary (30:03-30:27), Glenys Kinnock, chair of One World Action (30:35-31:05), Rodney Bickerstaffe, general secretary of NUPE (31:05-31:51), Hector Mackenzie, general secretary (36:03-37:34), Bernard Morgan, branch secretary of West Lambeth priority services (37:50-38:41), Colin Robinson, president (38:47-40:57).
Produced by Issue Communications. Former reference MSS.229/6/C/1994/2.