To minimise the further toll of the pandemic, to prepare for the “second wave” in winter described by the official Academy of Medical Sciences report of 14 July as probable, and to get the quickest possible safe restoration of social functioning and freedoms, we call on Labour to campaign for:
• The right to self-isolate on full pay for all and radically improved sick pay for all. (Across 34 OECD countries, workers receive on average 70% of wages as mandatory sick pay. In the UK it is 20%.) Public provision of alternative accommodation for people in crowded housing who need to self-isolate.
• A public test-and-trace operation, run by properly-funded local authority public health departments, not a mess contracted out through organisations like Deloitte and Serco.
• Private hospitals to be requisitioned – taken into emergency public ownership – to enable the NHS to catch up on all the treatment delayed at the height of the pandemic, and to secure capacity for a second wave of the virus.
• Taking social care into public ownership and reorganising it as a free, well-funded public service, with its staff on public-sector pay and conditions
• Taking NHS logistics and supply in-house, and requisitioning industry to secure adequate supplies of PPE
• Workers’ control over reopening of workplaces, to avoid workplace infection-clusters.