Trade Unions

120,000 DEATHS LINKED TO #Conservative #LibDems AUSTERITY #Derbyuk #Derbyshire #Labour #Momentum #DCFC

Aside Posted on Updated on

The Conservatives have been accused of “economic murder” for austerity policies which a new study suggests have caused 120,000 deaths.

The paper found that there were 45,000 more deaths in the first four years of Tory-led efficiencies than would have been expected if funding had stayed at pre-election levels.

On this trajectory that could rise to nearly 200,000 excess deaths by the end of 2020, even with the extra funding that has been earmarked for public sector services this year. Real terms funding for health and social care fell under the Conservative-led Coalition Government in 2010, and the researchers conclude this “may have produced” the substantial increase in deaths. The paper identified that mortality rates in the UK had declined steadily from 2001 to 2010, but this reversed sharply with the death rate growing again after austerity came in. From this reversal the authors identified that 45,368 extra deaths occurred between 2010 and 2014, than would have been expected, although it stops short of calling them “avoidable”.

Based on those trends it predicted the next five years – from 2015 to 2020 – would account for 152,141 deaths – 100 a day – findings which one of the authors likened to “economic murder”.

The Government began relaxing austerity measures this year announcing the end of its cap on public sector pay rises and announcing an extra £1.3bn for social care in the Spring Budget. Over three years the additional funding for social care is expected to reach £2bn, which Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said was “patching up a small part of the damage” wrought by £4.6bn cuts. The study, published in BMJ Open today, estimated that to return death rates to their pre-2010 levels spending would need to increase by £25.3bn. The Department of Health said “firm conclusions” cannot be drawn from this work, and independent academics warned the funding figures were “speculative”.

However local councils who have been struggling to fund care with slashed budgets urged the Government to consider the research seriously. Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the Government must match Labour’s spending pledges in the Autumn Budget.

Per capita public health spending between 2001 and 2010 increased by 3.8 per cent a year, but in the first four years of the Coalition, increases were just 0.41 per cent, researchers from University College London found. In social care the annual budget increase collapsed from 2.20 per cent annually, to a decrease of 1.57 per cent. The researchers found this coincided with death rates which had decreased by around 0.77 per cent a year to 2010, beginning to increase again by 0.87 per cent a year.

And the majority of those were people reliant on social care, the paper says: “This is most likely because social care experienced greater relative spending constraints than healthcare.” It also notes that a drop in nurse numbers may have accounted for 10 per cent of deaths, concluding: “We have found that spending constraints since 2010, especially public expenditure on social care, may have produced a substantial mortality gap in England.”

The papers’ senior author and a researcher at UCL, Dr Ben Maruthappu, said that while the paper “can’t prove cause and effect” it shows an association. And he added this trend is seen elsewhere. “When you look at Portugal and other countries that have gone through austerity measures, they have found that health care provision gets worse and health care outcomes get worse,” he told The Independent. One of his co-author’s, Professor Lawrence King of the Applied Health Research Unit at Cambridge University, said it showed the damage caused by austerity

“It is now very clear that austerity does not promote growth or reduce deficits – it is bad economics, but good class politics,” he said. “This study shows it is also a public health disaster. It is not an exaggeration to call it economic murder.”

The Department of Health stressed that no such conclusion could be drawn. A spokesperson said: “As the researchers themselves note, this study cannot be used to draw any firm conclusions about the cause of excess deaths.

“The NHS is treating more people than ever before and funding is at record levels with an £8bn increase by 2020-21. We’ve also backed adult social care with £2bn investment and have 12,700 more doctors and 10,600 more nurses on our wards since May 2010.”

And independent academics added that it is hard to prove cause and effect with this kind of study even if the underlying assumptions may be correct.

Professor Martin Roland Emeritus Professor of Health Services Research, University of Cambridge said: “This study suggests that a change happened to cause deaths to stop declining around 2014. This is likely to be a correct finding. However, the link to health and social care spending is speculative as observational studies of this type can never prove cause and effect.”

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said: “We would urge government to review the evidence behind this analysis. If correct, it would clearly reinforce the desperate and urgent need to properly fund social care

Mr Ashworth, responding to the study, said: “This shocking mortality gap is a damning indictment of the dire impact which sustained Tory cuts to our NHS and social care services have had on health outcomes across the nation.

“Ahead of the Budget, this appalling news must serve as an urgent wake up call to the Prime Minister. She must match Labour’s pledge to deliver an extra £6 billion for our NHS across the next financial year to ensure the best possible quality of care is sustained for years to come.”

Get involved with the People’s Assembly today. 


News from the Trade Union Congress #TUC

Aside Posted on

Sign the petition: Protect the right to strike

Aside Posted on Updated on

Going to Work
Protect the right to strike

The government’s controversial trade union bill gets its third and final reading in the House of Commons tomorrowTuesday 10 November. This dangerous legislation threatens the basic right to strike for workers across the UK.

However, the vote might be closer than the government would like. We’re hearing from a number of Conservative MPs who are worried about the risks to important civil liberties or who feel parts of the bill are unfair and unnecessary. Some have even spoken out in public and said they’ll support amendments to cut out some of the worst parts of the bill.

With such a slender government majority, anything could happen. As our MPs are getting ready for this big vote, let’s send them a big signal that we don’t want them to take liberties with our right to strike.

We’ve got a new petition to Prime Minister David Cameron, calling on him to think again about this bad bill. It’s been growing really fast – 35,000 have signed already.

Can you help pile on the pressure even more? Sign and share our petition now and let’s make it something our MPs can’t ignore.

Sign the petition to protect the right to strike

Hotel chambermaid shares hellish reality of agency work in David Cameron’s Britain

Aside Posted on

Hotel chambermaid shares hellish reality of agency work in David Cameron’s Britain

Barbara Pokryszk recalls humiliating daily queues for work at the Hilton London Metropole – with those at the back turned away empty-handed

Barbara Pokryszka former Hotel chambermaid 
Testimony: Barbara Pokryszka will tell her story at the Labour Party Conference      Daily Mirror

Barbara Pokryszka cleaned 15,000 hotel rooms as a chamber maid.

And every day she started work at the Hilton London Metropole, she was forced to go through a demeaning morning ritual.

By 7.40am, maids had to report to the office where cleaning buckets and lists were handed out. No one wanted to be last in the queue in case there wasn’t work for them that day.

“It was so humiliating,” Barbara says, tears in her eyes. “Some of the women would get hit with the buckets because there wasn’t enough space and the agency supervisors would laugh at us.”

Barbara says the lucky ones would go on to work up to 12 hours for around £50 a day, which she says often worked out below the minimum wage. Two or three women would get sent home with nothing.

“I was often punished because I tried to say what you are doing is wrong,” claims Barbara, 38, an arts graduate from near Krakov, Poland.

“Then you would be sent home ‘on stand-by’. That is how they controlled the girls. If you make trouble, no work for you, sometimes for weeks.”

Read more here

#Conservatives attack our Free Trade Unions… again

Aside Posted on Updated on

Public sector workers to lose right to have union fees deducted from wages

Up to 3.8 million workers will be affected by what government says is ‘outdated practice’ but unions say it is latest Tory assault on workers’ rights

Members of trade union Unison march through Liverpool last year. Up to 3.8 million public sector workers will lose the right to have their trade union subscription automatically deducted from their pay. Photograph: David Ellison/Demotix/Corbis

Up to 3.8 million public sector workers will lose the right to have their trade union subscriptions automatically deducted from their pay cheques after the government announced plans to end the “outdated practice”.

In a move that will be condemned by trade union leaders as another assault on their rights, the government confirmed that the forthcoming trade union bill will force public sector workers to make their own arrangements to pay union subscriptions.

Matt Hancock, the cabinet office minister, heralded the end to “check-off”deductions as a key step in modernising the relationship with trade unions and saving on administrative fees.

Read more

ELLIE MAE O’HAGAN : If you curb the power of trade unions, you reduce the rights of working people

Aside Posted on

 ELLIE MAE O’HAGAN Wednesday 15 July 2015

If you curb the power of trade unions, you reduce the rights of working people

The government doesn’t really care about democratic engagement – it just wants to find a way to outlaw strikes

In an act of political doublespeak, business secretary Sajid Javid described the purpose of Trade Union Bill – which has its first reading in the House of Commons today – thus: “Trade unions have a constructive role to play in representing their members’ interests, but our one nation government will balance their rights with those of working people and business.”

This is exactly the kind of asinine logic we can expect from an organisation that brands itself “the workers’ party” whilst simultaneously cutting tax credits. It’s almost painful to have to state something so obvious, but trade unions and working people are the same thing; if you curb the power of trade unions, you automatically reduce the rights of working people. That’s why trade unions call themselves the labour movement. Javid may as well have said he was going to protect the rights of noses by systematically punching everyone in the face.

Read more here