Aims & Principles

HSWN Aims To:

Build networks across the health sector

We strive to build connections across the divides that exist within the health sector. Through bringing together waged and unwaged carers, unionised and non-unionised workers, clinical and academic groups, professionals and advocates, we aim to build solidarity across the health sector and in the working class.

Challenge the institutions of power and oppression within and around the health sector

We must confront hierarchical and undemocratic systems, highlight the oppressive nature of health institutions and advocate for a system with real collaboration that centres on humanistic values.

Promote a radical vision of health

If the social determinants of health (i.e. housing, income, social policy, etc.) are central to the wellbeing of people, then we must advocate for a society and a system of health provision that functions from this premise.

Support grassroots activity in the health sector

We believe in the power of people to participate and organise for collective action. Whether this is people collectively working on issues, creating worker-led initiatives, organisations, or bridging the hierarchical divides of existing structures — we support genuine participation of all people in the health sector.

HSWN Principles:

1. Solidarity across the health sector

Solidarity is about an equality of experience and seeing common ground in our environment. It is not about suppressing the complexity of the self or demanding compromise when conflicted. Solidarity is the relationship through commonality of purpose.

2. Institutions must be democratised

We must challenge institutions that exert power and influence as arms of the capitalist class. To democratise means to make institutions accountable, open and functions of liberation not servitude.

3. Rank and file organising in the health sector

Our organisation is the people organising. No one has power over others. Our power is through collective free association.

4. Tino Rangatiratanga

Our actions must not perpetuate the process of colonisation. Maori have the right to determine their narrative and their future, and as a network we support a relationship in this process.

5. Health is determined by the society in which we live

Health is fundamentally determined by the society we live in. Good health is a result of the interplay between social, political and economic influences. We must create a society where conditions exist for everyone’s health needs to be met. This society is not Capitalist.

6. Healthcare should be universal

We are opposed to class society preventing access to free healthcare, especially as it relates to race, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability or citizenship. Universal means full access for everybody.