When Labour wins, we all win
Unions have welcomed the Labour Party’s manifesto, launched yesterday.
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This is a powerful package to rebuild the country and help millions whose lives have been ravaged by nine years of austerity.
“It commits to restoring the funding snatched from public services by the Tories’ cold-hearted economic policies and gives dedicated public servants the wage rises they’ve been denied for so long.
“Ending the scourge of privatisation will put the focus back on the best interests of patients and local communities rather than shareholders’ pockets.
“Solving social care is the most pressing issue of our time and Labour’s plans will expose bad employers, improve standards and give hope to families everywhere.”
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “This is a fantastic offer from Labour to the electorate.
“I urge all Unite members and the general public to listen to what Labour is saying.
“When Labour wins nurses win, teachers win, manufacturing workers win, car workers win, young people win and pensioners win. When Labour wins, we all win. Come home to Labour.”
GMB general secretary Tim Roache said: “Anyone who lives in the real world knows that things just aren’t working.
“A decade of cuts delivered by out of touch Tory Governments has left our NHS at breaking point, our schools crumbling and local Government on its knees.
“We have a list of crises as long as my arm – a social care crisis, a skills crisis, a manufacturing crisis, a standard of living crisis.
“Food banks are now the norm, insecure work is a business model for bad bosses. The number of homeless people you see every time you walk down the street is heart-breaking.
“This is the track record Boris Johnson is taking to the ballot box.
“We need real change, not tinkering around the edges of a system that was built by millionaires, in the interests of millionaires.
“Labour’s manifesto shows how different things could be – the very richest in society paying their fair share to fund services we all rely on and build an economy that works for everyone.
“There’s a real choice at this election, this manifesto would change the lives of millions of people for the better.”
ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan said: “This manifesto is a game changer for our railway. Whether it’s re-opening branch lines, the rolling programme of electrification or the commitments on HS2 to Scotland and Crossrail for the North, this is a radical plan for the network and one that will put it back into public ownership. Rail freight will also be expanded as well as the provision of publicly owned rail freight. We must always remember that our industry is key in the fight against climate change.
“It’s brilliant to see we have a Labour leadership who listens to the workforce and passengers. This manifesto demonstrates that they see the railway as a public service, not a cash cow. Nothing shows this more than the promise to end driver only operation and put a second member of staff on all trains. This is something ASLEF has campaigned on for 30 years.
“But the offer to our members goes beyond rail. We explained to the party about the problems our members have with childcare because of shift work. They listened and have committed to ensure that childcare provision accommodates the working pattern of all parents.
“There’s plans to save our NHS, and offer free, supported education for adults, so our members can have opportunities that may not have been previously available to them. And remember, there will not be a tax increase on any of our members’ salaries. Voting Labour therefore delivers for both ASLEF members and all working people in the UK.”
TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “Our Labour Party is putting in front of the British people the most ambitious plan to create a fairer country since 1945. We will be halting the march of Tory economists which, for far too long, has seen a select few at the top proposer at the expense of millions of our fellow citizens.
“Labour is offering fully costed comprehensive measures based on the long-term interests of working people. The proposals in the manifesto will release our country from the choking grip of Tory misrule and reboot Britain for the 21st Century.
“This is about building an economy where people are no longer taken for a ride. Make no mistake – unless you are a tax dodger or filthy rich you will win.
“Labour is on your side – from saving our NHS to ensuring all of our children have the best start, through Sure Start and the proper funding of our education system, from building thousands of new council homes to ending the scandal of student tuition fees, from stopping the rip off across our railways, energy sector and utilities, to ensuring that we have a fair tax system.
“The prospect of a Labour victory, and with it a society that will work for the many not the few, is absolutely thrilling.”
Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis said: “This manifesto offers the country and particularly working people genuine hope for real change. Ending in-work poverty would be one of Labour’s greatest achievements; it is the scourge of modern society. The Government disgracefully failed to act on the evidence our ‘Time for Better Pay’ campaign produced, so we are delighted that Labour has listened and taken on board our policy recommendations.
“Insecure low-paid work is causing many families a great deal of hardship as they struggle to make ends meet and have no guaranteed income from week to week. So Labour’s £10 per hour for all workers, an end to zero-hour employment, contracts that reflect workers hours and scrapping the universally discredited Universal Credit are very welcome and will make a real difference to our members and millions of workers.
“Among promises on sorting out the NHS, housing, education and many other services that our members rely on; Labour has a plan to tackle the crisis on our high street. Retail is going through tremendous difficulties, resulting in many job losses and store closures.
“Labour has listened to Usdaw’s ‘Save our Shops’ campaign and is committed to developing a retail sector industrial strategy including a review of the business rates system to make it fairer for bricks and mortar retailers.
“Our country is crying out for change, a different direction that will bring hope and prosperity. This manifesto shows that Labour is the party that will deliver a future that works for all. Labour has listened to our members concerns and set out a programme to address them. Usdaw is urging our members to register to vote, use their vote, and to vote Labour.
Prospect deputy general secretary Garry Graham said: “We welcome that Labour has recognised the need to invest in public sector pay to restore incomes and ease the recruitment and retention crisis faced by areas of the sector.
“Public servants have borne the brunt of the pay squeeze in recent years and it is only right that they receive real terms pay rises in the years ahead.
“We look forward to other parties setting out similar plans to invest in our public sector and the people who work in it.”
RCM executive director for external relations Jon Skewes said: “We are happy to see a commitment to putting the terms and conditions of Agenda for Change into law with safe staffing limits not just for midwives, but for all NHS staff. We are currently short 2,500 midwives in England alone and understaffing can compromise safety. The pledge to restore public sector pay by delivering year-on-year above-inflation pay rises is welcomed and will go towards improving recruitment and retention.
“The RCM manifesto includes asks to improve maternal mental health care for women so the pledge to introduce mental health assessments after birth is something the RCM supports. Unfortunately, the current reality is over one third of UK maternity services do not employ any specialist maternal mental health midwives. That is why the RCM is calling for all NHS trusts in England to employ maternal mental health specialist midwives so women can get the support they need and deserve.
“The RCM also welcomes promises for mental health support for NHS staff this is crucial along with creating an NHS that is free from harassment, bullying and violence, but we would like to see a more detailed plan on how the party intends to tackle this.
“The re-introduction of a training bursary for midwives is something the RCM welcomes and has campaigned for. We know how much financial pressure our student midwives are under since the removal of the bursary in 2017 and the impact that is having on potential students who no longer see midwifery as attractive career due to the financial costs it entails to now train.
“It’s also good to see that a Labour Government would hold a People’s Vote on Brexit. Over 1,300 midwives are from elsewhere in the EU and provide care for tens of thousands of women every year to lose them would be detrimental to NHS maternity services.
“If we are to see ‘real change’ as the labour leader has put it we will need to see a real increase in long-term investment in the NHS because without that none of these promises will come to fruition. The RCM agrees with the Labour party that our most valuable assets are the dedicated people who work in our public services so let’s ensure NHS workers known how valued they are by turning these promises into a reality.”
NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said: “This manifesto shows that Labour understands the serious problems facing education and facing children. Their promises include credible plans to relieve the heavy pressures on staff and to lift children out of poverty. Children only get one chance at education. The National Education Union welcomes Labour’s fresh vision for an education system that puts children first and foremost.
“The NEU asked each party to value education and make pledges on funding and the Labour party has met our tests on funding. We think the promise to stop the cuts and instead to invest in education will command voter support because parents want qualified and specialist teachers, value teaching assistants, worry about increasing class size, and expect high quality support if their child has special educational needs and disabilities.
“Teachers will be relieved to hear that the education funding pledges in the Labour manifesto match the demands of the School Cuts coalition. Our analysis of the Labour announcement shows that Labour will reverse the cuts but also, importantly, deal with the historic underfunding in many areas of this country. This is evidence-based funding which will mean more children reach their potential. Labour are in touch with real families’ daily concerns and the ways in which education cuts have harmed children. We welcome the £900 million for free school meals in primary which would address child hunger and support children to eat healthy food for lunch.
“The NEU is excited to see the value placed on child wellbeing, through the commitments on much more child mental health support and measures to tackle poverty and improve families’ living standards.
“Labour’s proposals can make the job of teaching more manageable and fulfilling by removing the discredited and divisive inspection system. These plans signal a different approach – one that promises to give teachers the conditions they need to be able to help every child meet their potential. The NEU welcomes the break with the misguided political mantra of competition and academisation. A national education service based on inclusion, co-operation and integrated services will improve outcomes for children and reduce the inequality gaps.
“Labour are showing courage in challenging the takeover of community schools by unaccountable academy providers. The break-up of the education service has produced record numbers of children and young people suffering from stress and with unmet mental health needs.
“Teachers will welcome the forward-thinking proposals to replace Ofsted with an intelligent accountability system, one which offers support to schools instead of labels.
“Education for England’s primary children is among the most test-dominated in the world and brings with it unacceptable levels of stress and unhappiness. Ending primary national testing will boost engagement for young children, help teachers address individual needs flexibly and ensure primary children acquire a love of learning and the skills to thrive in secondary.
“Labour’s manifesto demonstrates an understanding that schools alone cannot counter the drastic and long-lasting impacts of poverty and class inequality in wider society. We welcome Labour’s proposals to end child poverty, tackle the housing crisis, create good, well-paid and sustainable jobs, and kick-start the economy. The exciting announcement to boost support for school uniform costs would immediately help children escape the shame caused by poverty. The £175 million for arts pupil premium would help use the power of creative subjects to change children’s lives and provide a wider range of cultural opportunities to more children.
“We don’t tell people who to vote for, but the NEU is asking each and every voter to think carefully about education when casting their vote.’’
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:
“RMT guard members have been at the forefront of fighting Driver Only Operation and this welcome announcement reflects that their struggle has been absolutely right from the very start to warn of the dangers of Driver Only Operation to safety, security and accessibility.
“Ending Driving Only Operation and putting safety critical Guards back on trains is a modern, transformational policy that will provide real change, especially for disabled and vulnerable passengers.”