WE are joining forces with Build Back Better to demand a care-led recovery
Build Back Better Statement
As we emerge from this crisis, now is the time to Build Back Better.
To do so we must heed the lessons it has taught:
That as a society, for many years, we did not listen to the scientists about the risks of such a pandemic and were not prepared.
That for decades our health and social care systems were both dangerously under-resourced and in need of reform.
That many key workers in our economy - many of them women, and many not born in this country - are among the least valued and lowest-paid.
That longstanding inequalities in our society have left too many vulnerable.
And that no country can stand alone in the face of common threats.
Yet we can also draw on new sources of hope:
That when faced with a crisis, government can spend wisely, at speed and at scale.
That care, neighbourliness and mutual support are the threads that bind our communities together.
That clean air and a concern for wellbeing can inspire more sustainable and enjoyable ways of living.
And that by working with other countries we can find common solutions to the gravest problems.
Some have compared this crisis to the Second World War. Then, as now, it was widely agreed that there was no going back.
But #BuildBackBetter must be more than just a slogan. We must answer these profound questions:
- How to ensure health, social care, housing and other vital public services are properly resourced and able to meet our future needs.
- How to mend the inequalities in our society so that everyone, no matter their background or race, can live a decent, fulfilling life.
- How to create secure, well-paid and rewarding jobs for all who want them, particularly for young people.
- And how not just to build our resilience to future pandemics, but to tackle the climate and environmental emergency already upon us.
Many will have other questions too: like how to create a better democracy, to harness technology for public good, to build a fairer and more cooperative world.
Answering these questions, and more, is a challenge to us all; to political parties, businesses, trade unions, civil society and citizens.
But it is a challenge to which, together, we can rise.
With the best of human values, and the determination of politicians and citizens, we can emerge from this crisis a stronger, fairer, greener country.
We must #BuildBackBetter.
A care-led recovery to the Covid-19 crisis is the best way to create jobs, protect the planet, promote equality, and build a more resilient and fairer economy.
That is why WE are joining forces with Build Back Better to make sure we Build Back Equal. We are campaigning to apply pressure to stop the government ignoring women with its recovery plan and failing to deliver for them.
Over the coming months we will be working together and with other organisations to develop a radical recovery plan that puts women first and tackles inequality head on.
You can sign up below to take part, organise and/or get updates as we Build Back Equal.Become a volunteer
Care workers have risked their lives to work during the Covid-19 crisis. Demand the government stops legislation which could leave them facing deportation.
Without the vital work of our care workforce - many of whom come from abroad - the UK would not have got through the coronavirus pandemic. Care workers have risked their health and in some cases even lost their lives while continuing to do highly skilled and essential work supporting people at a time when they needed it most.
This month MPs will be voting on a bill that would leave many migrant care workers facing deportation. The immigration bill classes care work as ‘low-skilled’ and sets an income threshold that workers in the chronically undervalued care sector will not be able to meet.
It is currently easier to migrate to UK as a strawberry picker than it is as a care worker.
We went into the Covid-19 crisis with 120,000 vacancies in care work, a staff shortage that was exacerbated by failure to provide testing or protective equipment. It is clear that the government has learned nothing from the tragedy that unfolded in our understaffed, underfunded care homes. By introducing a bill which categorises carers as ‘low-skilled’ and prevents these crucial workers from entering the UK from overseas, they have shown once again how little it values care, care workers and those who rely on them.
It’s not enough to clap for carers any more - we must fight for them.
Sign our petition to demand that the government:
- Removes the discriminatory income threshold from the immigration bill.
- Ends the insulting ‘low-skilled’ label for care work.
- Guarantees that vital care workers will be able to migrate to the UK.
Protest for Care - Saturday 23rd May ✊
In the face of an unprecedented national crisis the UK government has consistently failed the millions who receive care and the carers who work tirelessly to support them. Twenty five percent of Covid deaths are now in care settings and carers are twice as likely to die of Covid as the general population.
Political decisions worsened this crisis, we need urgent political action to help to lift us out of it.
Our protest calls for: guaranteed PPE and a real living wage for every care worker, and urgent funding for the sector. Help us make this a reality for care workers and those who rely on care.
Join the rally at 2pm and hear from:
- Mandu Reid - 2:00
- Sandi Toksvig - 2:10
- Dr Sarabajaya Kumar - 2:15
- Dr. Hannah Barham-Brown - 2:20
- Karolina Gerlich - 2:25
BSL interpretation will be available.
Sign up below to receive the link & tune in via Zoom!
Why is it important to post on social media:
Political decisions worsened the care crisis and we must create pressure for urgent political action to help to lift us out of it. To do this we need to keep this issue in the media and online and we need to demonstrate that there is a political cost to the government for continuing to ignore and underfund care - participating will help to do both.
Covid means that we can’t physically gather and protest, but we can still show the overwhelming support for urgent action by marching remotely and making noise on social media and in our communities.Become a volunteer
Nurses and carers are on the front line of the Covid-19 crisis. Demand that the government gives them fair pay and protection.
If this crisis has demonstrated anything, it is what we already knew: care matters. Our economy, our whole society would not function without it. We must protect and value those who deliver it.
Seventeen percent of residential care workers live in poverty, half do not receive a real living wage and student nurses are being charged tuition fees to work on the front line.
Boris Johnson said he owes the NHS his life, but without action those are just empty words. What he really owes them - and the thousands of carers and other key workers who are holding our country together - is proper protective gear, better working conditions and a living wage.
Our care workforce is overwhelmingly female, disproportionately BAME, undervalued and fighting to protect all our health.
Last year already saw 44,000 NHS nursing vacancies and a shortage of more than 200,000 staff across NHS trusts and adult social care, with 30% of adult social care workers leaving annually. Meanwhile the lowest NHS pay band for a nurse is under £20,000 and many carers earn little more than minimum wage.
Our petition calls for:
1. Guaranteed PPE for every front line worker
2. Guaranteed real living wage for all carers
3. A pay rise for every nurse
4. The reintroduction of pre-coalition bursaries and an end to nursing tuition fees
5. End the migrant NHS surcharge for nurse and care workers *Campaign win - Government has now ended the NHS surcharge for all migrant NHS and care workers*
Sign our petition today to call for urgent action.
You can take further action by writing to your MP, and demanding that they commit to guarantee a real living wage and full PPE for all care workers, increase care funding to pre-2010 levels, and reinstate councils' duties under the care act.
The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
25th March 2020
10 Downing Street
Over the last week, monumental measures have been taken by the government to control the spread of coronavirus and now parliament is closing early for the same reason. While we welcome the measures that are needed to try and keep people safe, requiring people to stay at home and effectively ‘locking down’ the UK does not protect the safety of everyone. Increased measures of societal control put women and children experiencing domestic abuse at far greater danger. Government has a duty of care to protect every member of the public.
The 1.6 million women experiencing domestic abuse yearly should be no exception.
Domestic Violence Protection Orders enable the police to temporarily remove suspected perpetrators from a victims’ home for up to 28 days. They are underused across the UK because of the cost and administrative burden. At the same time support services are struggling to keep up with demand from women seeking help. Funding cuts to refuges of around 50% since 2011, along with a surge in reported incidences of abuse has led to 60% of referrals to refuges being turned away.
Reports from organisations across the globe have shown domestic abuse increases with enforced isolation
From a charity in Hubei to a domestic violence hotline in Oregon, reports suggest that social distancing and lockdown measures result in an increase in cases of domestic abuse as households become pressure cookers for coercive control and violence. The government cannot just close its own doors and abandon people to these increased risks without ensuring the police have the powers they need to intervene, and support services are properly resourced.
There are immediate steps that can be taken to protect survivors:
- Domestic Violence Protection Orders must be extended to cover the full isolation period giving victims immediate protection away from the threat of violence, and breathing space to make vital decisions.
- Court fees for cases of domestic abuse must be waived with cases prioritised in court and delegated to trained magistrates.
- Emergency funding must urgently be supplied to refuge services who are currently under immense pressure to protect the increasing number of domestic abuse victims.
If our government acts now, lives can be saved.
Over the past week, our government has proven that in urgent times, urgent measures are well within reach. Parliament must reopen to change the law on DVPOs and release emergency funding for support services. Women’s lives depend on it.
Leader of the Women’s Equality Party