Social care: suggested wording, August 2020

This CLP notes
1. That the report on a second Covid-19 surge this winter commissioned by the government’s Chief Scientific Officer notes that because “many care homes are privately owned… oversight is challenging” and points to the “issues of funding, wages, and stability of the care sector” as important factors in preventing such a surge.
2. That the Vivaldi report on care homes and the Chief Medical Officer have highlighted sick pay as key to infection control. Hundreds of thousands of care workers receive only Statutory Sick Pay (£95.85pw) and some not even that, creating immense pressure to work even for those with symptoms.
3. That after months of ignoring the issue the government announced £600m for isolation pay in social care; but as things stand only a fraction of care homes provide more than Statutory Sick Pay.
4. That the UK has the worst statutory sick pay in the OECD and the second worst in the EU.
5. That labour movement activists have set up the Safe & Equal campaign to win full isolation pay and decent sick pay for all workers.
6. That conference 2019 voted for comprehensive public ownership and provision of care.
7. That even some prominent Tories have started calling for greater public ownership.

This CLP believes
1. That Nadia Whittome MP, sacked from her job as a frontline care worker for speaking out about PPE shortages, is right the deep crises in social care “require a reckoning with decades of underfunding, fragmentation and privatisation, and deep change in how our health and social care systems are run… a huge injection of public money, and a model based on democratic public ownership, so that local people, workers and service-users can have a say in how it is run”.

This CLP resolves
1. To work with Safe and Equal, invite a speaker, and promote its statement for public ownership (bit.ly/socialcarestatement).
2. To work with unions to pressure [the council / Labour councillors] to ensure all care workers receive full isolation pay, as eg Salford has done.
3. To invite Nadia Whittome to speak about these issues.
4. To write publicly to the Leader’s Office, NPF and NEC calling for the party to campaign for i. Full isolation pay for all workers; ii. Comprehensive public ownership and provision of social care, as a free service with greatly increased standards and pay and conditions.

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