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Labour Members Lead the Way – Labour Conference Analysis

“Our members are reflective of our wider communities and the appetite for a bold alternative to Tory rule must not be ignored.”

By Patrick Foley, Hornsey & Wood Green CLP.

Labour members and affiliated trade unions showed once again that they are leading the way on policy, putting forward the big ideas that will get to the root of the problems we face – from a Green New Deal to tackle the climate emergency, to resisting the push for a new cold war. Here are some of the key victories for the left.  

Firstly, we had the “Socialist Green New Deal” motion, originally ruled out of order with just a week to go before conference. Thankfully this attempt to exclude some of the most transformational policies, on the basis of them covering more than one topic, was met with outrage and overturned.

The composite motion was proposed by the FBU and Labour for a Green New Deal, and supported by the BFAWU, TSSA and Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) across the country. It commits the party to pushing for radical solutions to the climate crisis, recognising the links between climate change, workers’ rights, inequality, housing and health – highlighting the need for a “just transition” to a greener and fairer economy. It also included a ban on fracking.

Importantly, in passing this motion, conference voted to invest in a “program creating millions of well-paid, unionised green jobs with publicly owned entities.”

Despite Keir Starmer dropping his pledge to public ownership, made during the leader election to win over progressive members, conference again voted to keep our commitment to bringing key services back in house. One motion, put forward by the CWU and Unite stated that “timid tweaks to the current system will not fix the structural problems that the pandemic has both exposed and exacerbated. Deep and transformative change is required.”

Internationally, a historic vote in support of the Palestinian struggle was passed overwhelmingly by both CLPs and trade unions. Significantly, the motion called for sanctions and cited a report describing that “Israel is practising the crime of apartheid as defined by the UN.”

In another victory for the left, the AUKUS “Security Pact” was labelled “dangerous” and a “breech of international law” in an emergency motion that re-committed the Labour Party to enforcing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and argued against military escalation in the region. 

During the conference we also saw Andy McDonald resign from Starmer’s front bench after the leadership asked him to argue against a £15-an-hour minimum wage and Statutory Sick pay, which at the moment sits at a measly £96.35 a week, being raised to the living wage.

He has gone on to state that “after many months of a pandemic when we made commitments to stand by key workers, I simply cannot now look those same workers in the eye and tell them they are not worth a wage that is enough to live on.”

Labour Party delegates clearly shared his ambitions to raise conditions for working people when they voted for the end fire and rehire and workers’ rights motion – which supported both a national minimum wage of £15-an-hour and a raise to Statutory Sick Pay to a living wage level, as well as reiterating support for day one rights for all workers and much more.

There were also victories for a range of other progressive policies: a commitment to end inequality, discrimination, and privatisation in our NHS; the need for a National Care Service; tackling the housing crisis; enshrining the right to food; addressing mental health in the workplace; standing firm in support of LGBT+ rights; and more.

Sadly, the Bakers Union (BFAWU) voted to disaffiliate from Labour because Starmer has focused inwards rather than addressing the crises facing the country. But with these policies all passing, it’s clear that there is a thirst from the membership and the trade unions for a Labour party that engages with the big problems and puts forwards concrete solutions.

While we should recognise and build on these victories, they highlight precisely why the leadership undertook – successfully- attacks on democracy aimed at preventing such defeats at the hands of the membership in future. Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy immediately came out against the conference motion on Palestine, and the AUKUS emergency motion is in direct contrast to the messaging of the leadership.

Going forward, the number of motions to be debated in future conferences has been reduced and the leadership’s rule changes have been a set-back for party democracy.

It’s up to those of us in the wider Labour movement who have the urgent task of holding the party responsible to the progressive policy platform put forward at conference. Our members are reflective of our wider communities and the appetite for a bold alternative to Tory rule must not be ignored.


  • You can read all of the motions mentioned in this piece below.
  • Join the Arise Festival “Post-Conference Report-Back & Next Steps Discussion” on Monday 4th October for more information on rule changes, victories for the left and the battles ahead. Register here.



MOTION TEXTS:

Green new deal one – composite one

Conference notes:

  • As with Covid, the climate crisis exposes sharply the inequalities in society in the UK and internationally and we must ensure that workers are at the heart of any future programme and that means unshackling trade unions.
  • The UK faces a post-covid unemployment crisis with insecurity and lowpay rife for workers.
  • Intensifying climate and environmental breakdown brings devastating threats to public health and livelihoods.
  • The UN’s latest climate report states that temperatures are likely to rise by more than the vital 1.5C limit in the next two decades, bringing widespread devastation and extreme weather.
  • That only immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in emissions can prevent such breakdown.
    16
  • Local communities in the UK and countries around the world are experiencing climate change related extreme weather events, including devastating flooding, wildfires, hurricanes, and droughts. This is with warming at 1.2°C above average pre-industrial levels. Currently, we are headed for a 2.9°C temperature increase.
  • Keir Starmer has pledged to hardwire the socialist Green New Deal into everything we do.
  • The UK spends billions of pounds per year on fossil fuel subsidies and is a key jurisdiction for the enforcement of globally accrued debt.

Conference believes:

  • Ahead of COP26, Labour should promote a just, green recovery combining efforts to address unemployment, climate change, and public health.
  • The Tory government is posturing on climate change with no serious plan to meet its climate targets. It has cut Green Home Grants and paid £40bn fossil fuels subsidies since March 2020 alone.
  • Privatisation has undermined decarbonisation and pandemic response measures.
  • The Covid Pandemic has shown that the levers of the state are required to respond to crises.
  • Debt relief is essential to achieve climate justice.

Resolves to support:

  • The socialist Green New Deal that will shift power from capital into the hands of workers .
    Public ownership of energy including energy companies, creating an integrated, democratic system.
  • A government program creating millions of well-paid, unionised green jobs with publicly owned entities
    Creating well-financed publicly owned national and regional green investment banks.
    Mass investment in green technologies and renewables;
  • A just transition with a comprehensive re-training program and green job guarantee on union rates for affected workers.
  • A just transition for British steelworkers, through sustained investment to decarbonise the steel industry
  • Expansion and electrification of integrated public transport, including public ownership of our railways; free local bus networks, rail electrification, highspeed rail, sustainably powered rail freight and electric buses;
  • Just climate adaptation, investing in fire and rescue services, flood defences, and resilient infrastructure;
  • Retrofitting all homes to the highest standard of energy efficiency
  • The creation of a National Climate Service, similar to creation of our NHS by Labour in 1948, to now tackle the crisis facing our planet
  • Subsidies to support a comprehensive investment programme in renewable energy, home retrofit and zero carbon homes, decarbonisation of industry and transport, and nature restoration.
  • Universal basic services, including a national care service
  • Gearing education and training to climate transition.
  • Banning fracking.
  • National Nature service including ten new national parks, strategic rewilding, land regeneration, and particularly the restoration of upland bogs.
  • Agricultural transition with the contribution regenerative farmers make by capturing carbon, managing water and promoting biodiversity to be recognised with funding
  • Repealing all anti-trade union laws so workers can freely take industrial action over wider social and political issues, for industrial action to ensure action on climate change.
  • Workers organising to decarbonise industries and the global supply chain.
  • Using public procurement to promote decarbonisation, environmental protections, and international justice in global supply chains.
  • All future stimulus and bailout eligibility linked to climate action and just transition plans;
  • A global socialist Green New Deal, debt relief for low-income country debt held by UK institutions, financially assisting the transition in developing countries and freely sharing technology and resources internationally.
  • Legal recognition of climate refugees’ right to asylum.
  • Linking internationally with indigenous groups, trade unions and groups resisting ecological assault.

Public ownership – composite five

Conference notes that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a widely held desire for a new economic model that meets the needs of our communities and not just those of exploitative shareholders and external investors.

Timid tweaks to the current system will not fix the structural problems that the pandemic has both exposed and exacerbated. Deep and transformative change is required, and the case for extending democratic public ownership in the post-covid economy could not be clearer.

This is certainly the case in the postal and telecoms industries, where CWU members, as keyworkers, have made a huge contribution to their communities throughout the course of the pandemic.

The aim of the next Labour government must be to transform our economy by delivering an irreversible shift in wealth and power to working people. In order to achieve this. Conference:

  • commits to bring Royal Mail back into public ownership, reuniting it with the Post Office and creating a publicly owned Post Bank run through the post office network;
  • commits to bring the broadband-relevant parts of BT into public ownership, with a jobs guarantee for all workers in existing broadband infrastructure and retail broadband work, so as to deliver free full-fibre broadband to all by 2030;
  • believes that we must continue to build quality public services that are democratic and give workers and their communities a greater voice as well as involving trade unions in both their establishment and delivery.

Communication Workers Union
Unite


Emergency Motion – AUKUS Security Pact

Conference notes:
· The AUKUS military pact – as announced by Tory PM Johnson on 14
September 2021 – involves the UK in collaboration with the USA and
Australia to develop a new capability of nuclear-powered submarines.
Including the supply of weapons grade enriched uranium to Australia
· That this has caused Australia to cancel contracts it placed with France for
non- nuclear-powered submarines, in the process damaging both AngloSino and Anglo-French relations.
Conference believes that:
· in contradiction to Tory PM Johnson’s Statement that ‘this will promote
stability in the Indo-pacific region’; in fact, this is a dangerous move which
will under-mine world peace.
· Supplying weapons grade uranium to a non-nuclear weapons state to power
military submarines is in breach of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty,
which stipulates that exchange of nuclear technology must be for peaceful
purposes.
· This a further breach of international law by the Tory Government.
Conference resolves to:
· Oppose the AUKUS agreement and make appropriate moves to de-escalate
the situation.
· Re-confirm the Labour Party’s support for enforcing the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty.
· Take steps to repair the diplomatic damage done by the process.
Shipley CLP
Brighton Pavilion CLP

Composite four – end fire and rehire and workers’ rights

Conference notes the Conservatives and employers are determined to use the pandemic as an opportunity to advance their agenda of driving down workers’ pay, terms and conditions.

The Conservatives always act to cut people’s rights, protections and the obligations employers have towards the people that create their profits, while always increasing the restrictions on trade unions.

A quarter of workers have experienced a worsening of their terms and conditions “including a cut in their pay – since the pandemic began.

The escalating number of employers across all sectors using weak employment protections to ‘fire and rehire’, with devastating consequences for workers & their families. This is affecting workers who previously had secure, regular work and incomes.

Go Northwest threatened bus drivers with longer working days and weeks for less pay. Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) threatened to fire & rehire 4,000 of its workers.

The pandemic has amplified the need for workers to be in unions to guarantee health and safety and other important working conditions.

Before the pandemic, one in nine workers “3.8 million people” were already ‘insecure’, they did not have access to basic rights at work and could be dismissed at will: including those on zero-hour contracts and agency workers.

We have some of the worst public and statutory holiday entitlements in Europe. Full-time workers have among the longest hours of any country. In-work stress is at record levels. Job insecurity is rising. False self-employment is increasingly used by employers to dodge their obligations. Technology is being used for surveillance. Average pay is lower than before the financial crash.

Conference denounces the Tories’ plan to impose new restrictions on transport workers through a minimum service requirement that may well be extended to other groups of workers.

Conference believes mechanisms such as ‘fire and rehire’ and other ways in which workers are effectively blackmailed with unemployment into accepting intensified work, cuts to pay and pensions and increases in their hours have no place in our society. People are entitled to secure work and earnings. The power imbalance between workers and employers must change.

Conference reaffirms its support for Labour’s policies of stronger individual employment rights, the repeal of all anti Trade Union laws sectoral collective bargaining and the creation of new collective rights and freedoms, including banning ‘fire and rehire’, and a full package of measures that will end insecurity and instead win pay increases and better working lives. The labour movement must fight in workplaces, local communities and nationally to ensure all jobs are good jobs and people receive fair rewards for the profits and wealth they create.

Conference resolves to support working people in dispute fighting employers using ‘fire and rehire’ and similar mechanisms, to stand with those campaigning and fighting to improve their pay and conditions, supporting their demands and defending the right of all of us to resist attacks on our pay, terms and conditions and to protest.

£15 per hour statutory minimum wage.

Increasing statutory sick pay to a living wage, to be paid from day one of absence; and for the lower earnings limit that means low paid workers are not entitled to SSP to be abolished.

Ban zero-hours contracts

End outsourcing in public services – better work-life balance, a legal right to flexible working by default, a ‘right to switch off’ so that homes don’t become 24/7 offices, and reductions in working hours without loss of pay.

Stronger protections from day one.

Conference notes TUC Congress 2020 agreed to organise a special conference on opposing the antiunion laws and a national demonstration. The party will encourage CLPs to support and get involved in these when they become possible.

Unite
Macclesfield CLP


Housing – Composite 6
Conference notes that Labour has a longstanding record of positive policies based on
respect for human rights, and housing policies aimed at ensuring that everyone can
live in a home that is healthy, safe and affordable.


The Grenfell Tower fire and COVID pandemic have now highlighted a lack of
investment in public housing, unsafe building practices, and weak legal protection for
tenants and leaseholders alike. In addition, we know that the current housing crisis
disproportionately affects women, ethnic minorities, young people, and people on
lower incomes.


The Covid pandemic has aggravated the severe economic and health impacts of the
housing crisis. In December 2020 the Health Foundation identified that prior to the
pandemic a third of households in England had housing problems relating to
overcrowding, affordability and poor-quality housing.


Prior to the pandemic, thousands of households were struggling with their housing
costs in the unaffordable and insecure private rented sector.
Due to Covid, many more households are struggling. In Cornwall, the private rented
sector is also dramatically shrinking due to second home ownership and as
houseowners sell up to make the most of the Covid house price bubble or rent as
AirBnB/to students.


The lifting of the temporary ban on evictions and ending of the Furlough scheme will
make matters worse and lead to a rise in homelessness.
The Conservative government has done little to support those struggling to access
decent, affordable and secure housing to rent.


Homelessness continues to rise and is expected to accelerate with 1 in 200 people
now homeless, while there are more than 200,000 empty homes and over 1.15 million
people on social housing waiting lists.


The UK’s provision for the disabled was based on the needs of those who suffered
their disabilities from injuries during the two World Wars. However, changes in the
demography and needs of the disabled over the last 80 years, including those that
become disabled in later life, have led to a significant gap in the provision of housing.

Factors affecting this include:
· A reduction in the proportion of council housing
· Our NHS enabling a greater number of disabled people to live long and
valuable lives
· The design, standards, and density of modern houses
Houses are often compact, ill designed to accommodate wheelchairs, and two storeys.
The adaption of such houses takes a very long time to be completed; typically, more
than a year, and is costly. These adaptions are removed when the houses are no
longer needed for the disabled. Some councils do have houses specially adapted for
families with disabled members but have no provision for single disabled or couples.


Conference believes:
· The UK housing market is broken.
· The Conservative government has done little to support those struggling to
access decent, affordable and secure housing to rent.
· The UK has obligations under international law to ensure that everyone enjoys
the human right to housing that is affordable, accessible, habitable, secure and
culturally appropriate, without discrimination. Unfortunately, while the 1998
Human Rights Act protects rights such as free speech, it does not explicitly
guarantee the right to adequate housing. Setting this right into legislation
would help to eradicate homelessness, and could avert housing problems for
people in all tenures.
· The very large number of second/holiday homes in Cornwall and similar areas,
has greatly increased the level of housing insecurity and household
impoverishment linked to housing unaffordability.
Local economies suffer when so many local households are left with little
disposable income after meeting their housing costs.
Many families with young children are finding that reliance on insecure,
expensive and often low quality private rentals, is a permanent condition rather
than a transitional phase in their lives.
The impact on housing availability of second/holiday homes is felt not only in
areas popular with visitors but in places to which the residents of visitor
orientated areas are forced to move.
· Local authorities should have powers to compulsorily purchase development
land that is being ‘land-banked’ and not developed by the landowner.
· There is now a clear need for the building of houses designed specifically for
the disabled and reserved solely for such people.
· People in this country should be able to live in a council property that is
properly maintained, especially in circumstances where a council tenant has to
also pay service charges and is not getting a quality service from that. From
cutbacks to making the service about targets; we are not figures but human
beings.
· Many experiencing homelessness are denied support because of ‘priority need’
rules or having ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’
Conference calls on the Labour Party to demand that the government takes action
now to end the housing crisis by:
· Fully funding councils to deliver the building of 150,000 social rent homes each
year, including 100,000 council homes,.
· Enshrine the right to adequate housing in domestic law, to ensure that future
Governments respect, protect and fulfil the human right to adequate housing.
· Repeal the 2012 anti-squatting legislation, the Vagrancy Act and all legislation
that criminalises being homeless. End the use of anti-social behaviour
legislation against begging and rough sleeping.
· Scrapping the tax loophole on second homes and allowing councils to charge a
levy on second homes to be used to provide local social housing.
· Giving local Councils additional planning powers in the form of change of use
restrictions to restrict the number of second/holiday homes in areas where
they are eroding the sustainability of local communities.
· End ‘right to buy’.
· End homelessness by implementing a national ‘Housing First’ system with
floating support, to house all those experiencing homelessness regardless of
immigration status.
· Reviewing council housing debt to address underfunding of housing revenue
accounts.
· Ending Section 21 (no fault) evictions.
· Commit to strengthening tenants’ rights
· Commit to giving local authorities powers to compulsorily purchase
development land that is being ‘land-banked’ and not developed by the
landowner.
· Fund the retro-fitting of council housing to cut greenhouse gases, provide jobs
and promote a shift from outsourcing to Direct Labour Organisations.
· Build disability housing and in the meantime encourage local councils to include
houses specifically designed for single occupation or couples. This should, in
the short term, include private developments.
Conference also calls upon Labour to place these actions at the centre of its housing
policies.
Labour Housing Group
St Ives CLP


Composite seven – right to food

This conference congratulates Liverpool City Council for unanimously passing a motion to become the UK’s first ‘Right to Food’ city.

Conference notes the crisis of food poverty borne out of the political choices and systemic failings created over the past four decades.

The Trussell Trust reports a soaring 81% increase in emergency food parcels from food banks in its network. Conference notes the growing concern amongst our health and care professionals of the current situation and the exacerbation of poverty figures through the impact of the Covid19 pandemic and economic uncertainty.

The National Food Strategy is the first independent review of England’s entire food system for 75 years. Its purpose is to set out a vision for the kind of food system we should be building for the future, and a plan for how to achieve that vision.

The Right To Food campaign is arguing that the 11 million people in food poverty should be central to this strategy. Enshrining the ‘Right To Food’ into law would clarify Government obligations on food poverty and would introduce legal avenues to hold Government bodies accountable for violations.

This conference believes that access to food should be a legal right in the UK, and that this government should be legally responsible for ensuring its citizens do not go hungry. We call on the Labour Party to embed a right to food policy in its next general election manifesto.

Liverpool Walton CLP
Wallasey CLP


Composite one – Israel and Palestine

Conference condemns the ongoing Nakba in Palestine, Israel’s militarised violence attacking the Al Aqsa mosque, the forced displacements from Sheikh Jarrah and the deadly assault on Gaza.

Together with the de facto annexation of Palestinian land by accelerated settlement building and statements of Israel’s intention to proceed with annexation, it is ever clearer that Israel is intent on eliminating any prospects of Palestinian self-determination.

Conference notes the TUC 2020 Congress motion describing such settlement building and annexation as ‘another significant step’ towards the UN Crime of Apartheid, and calling on the European & international trade union movement to join the international campaign to stop annexation and end apartheid.

Conference also notes the unequivocal 2021 reports by by B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch that conclude unequivocally that Israel is practising the crime of apartheid as defined by the UN.

Conference welcomes the International Criminal Court decision to hold an inquiry into abuses committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories since 2014.

Conference resolves that action is needed now due to Israel’s continuing illegal actions and that Labour should adhere to an ethical policy on all UK trade with Israel, including stopping any arms trade used to violate Palestinian human rights and trade with illegal Israeli settlements.

Conference resolves to support “effective measures” including sanctions, as called for by Palestinian civil society, against actions by the Israeli government that are illegal according to international law; in particular to ensure that Israel stops the building of settlements, reverses any annexation, ends the occupation of the West Bank, the blockade of Gaza, brings down the Wall and respects the right of Palestinian people, as enshrined in international law, to return to their homes.

Conference resolves that the Labour Party must stand on the right side of history and abide by these resolutions in its policy, communications and political strategy.

Young Labour
Wolverhampton South West CLP


Composite motion eight – the NHS

Covid-19 has shown public service workers at their best and the Tory government at its worst. Eleven years of austerity means inequality was on the rise when lockdowns started and has compounded the pandemic’s impact.

Only a Labour government will be ambitious enough to tackle the country’s public health challenges and inequality together. It must prioritise:

  • Mental health services
  • Health services for trans and non-binary people.
  • Ending new cases of HIV by 2030 This Party recognises the urgency of establishing a democratically accountable health and care service free to all at the point of use and funded by progressive taxation.

Conference notes:

  • While Covid-19 can affect anyone, it disproportionately impacts those worst affected by health inequalities such as the victims of sexism, racism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
  • 11 years of Conservative Government have left NHS waiting lists at the highest on record.
  • The NHS in England is rapidly being reorganised into 42 regional Integrated Care Systems (ICSs).
  • ICSs claim to be integrated partnerships between the NHS, local authorities and others, including the independent sector, but the plans side-line local authorities, threatening the future integrity of social care and reducing local accountability. These will strengthen the role of private companies, including US health insurance corporations, in the NHS.
  • Tory Government proposals to establish unaccountable, statutory Integrated Care Systems (ICS) boards with binding plans. The ICSs will mean more private contracts; lower standards through professional deregulation, downskilling and more outsourcing of NHS jobs; reduced and rationed services (partially replaced by ‘digital’ options and volunteers); and significant spending cuts.
  • The Tories have failed the LGBT+ community:
  •  
  • Coming out- , hatred and shame mean LGBT+ people are more likely to present with mental health issues; most are preventable and all should be supported.
  • For trans and non-binary people prolonged periods of lockdown have caused trauma for those who cannot be their true self at home. The backlog of existing services is a scandal and new services promised by the government are not forthcoming.

Conference demands:

  • That the Party will pursue the introduction of legislation to bring about a universal, comprehensive and publicly provided NHS, fit for the 21st century.
  • That the Party will also seek to ensure that: commissioning arrangements for social care prioritise and encourage public provision of services.
  • To actively alert local councillors and MPs to the threat posed by Integrated Care Systems and the dramatic loss of local accountability.
  • To use all means to actively oppose the ICSs including that the shadow health team and the Parliamentary Labour Party will vigorously oppose the establishment of ICSs and their roll-out in England.
  • That the Parliamentary Labour Party call for an immediate halt to the roll-out of ICS.
  • To work closely with the Trade Union movement to progress our joint opposition to the introduction of Integrated Care Services as defined by NHS England.
  • To oppose the destructive effects of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act and to bring about universal, comprehensive, publicly provided and closely coordinated NHS and social care services.
  • To oppose a new Bill that would remove the legal duty of NHS commissioners to provide hospital medical services, would put private providers in the driving seat of our health service, and reward reduced service provision & lower pay.
  • To promote greater collaboration with the Labour Parties in the devolved nations, in order to learn from their experiences in continuing to promote a public service NHS in their jurisdictions.

Conference must prioritise:

  • Only an opt-out approach to testing in the NHS and the scaling up of at-home testing will mean HIV diagnoses in the UK become a thing of the past.
  • The pay and conditions of staff across health and care with an emphasis on fair and equal pay, training, skills development, and career progression.
  • Conference demands that the NHS remains the most cost-efficient health service in the developed world, largely because it’s still mostly publicly provided by directly employed staff, and not by private providers. Sutton and Cheam CLP Socialist Health Association.

Composite 11 – public services

Conference notes Labour’s proud record as the party of public services. From the NHS to Sure Start, it is the Labour Party and the Labour movement that delivers for our communities in government. Conference further notes that public services have been battered by a decade of Tory austerity and privatisation, with local government under particular attack.

Health and economic outcomes have suffered before and during the Covid-19 pandemic as a result. Conference believes that the pandemic has shown that our public services need a transformative and radical Labour government now more than ever.

Conference resolves that the Labour Party will:

  • Fight for public services free from profit, funded through general taxation
  • with any increase falling on those 21 with the broadest shoulders – and brought back – in house’.
  • Build a campaign with trade unions, community and tenant organisations, service users and Labour councillors to fight for the funding necessary to not only stop, but reverse local government cuts.
  • Place renewed pressure on the government to honour its commitment to fully fund councils and the NHS for the costs of dealing with the pandemic and lost revenue resulting from lockdowns.
  • Ensure that in government, Labour delivers for public service workers, ensuring decent pay for those who keep our communities going. Until then, Labour will campaign for real pay rises for 80 all public service workers, including calling on the LGA to increase its current pay offer and encourage Labour councillors to support an increase.

Unison
Unite


Composite motion nine – social care one

Conference notes the ongoing crisis in social care – a chronically underfunded service, with too many care workers paid less than the living wage, despite their vital work.

Conference recognises that the pandemic has exposed the scale of exploitation in the care sector, and believes urgent reforms are needed if the social care ‘crisis within a crisis’ is to be addressed.

Conference condemns the chronic low pay and degraded terms and conditions in care, noting that:

  • There are approximately 110,000 social care vacancies in England alone
  • The average hourly rate for privately-employed care workers was £8.50 in 2019/20 o A third of direct care workers were employed on zero hours contracts (rising to more than half in London)
  • Research funded by the DHSC found a strong link between inadequate sick pay and higher infection rates in care homes
  • Violations of minimum wage regulations are common

Conference further notes that exploitative working practices disproportionately affect older women and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic workers.

Conference recognises that radical reform is needed if we are to care for an aging population, with surveys finding that four-fifths of care workers feel undervalued by their management or employer, and three quarters of care workers say their mental health has worsened during the pandemic.

Conference believes that reforming and fixing our broken social care system should be a priority for a future Labour government. Just as Labour had the vision and foresight to create the NHS, we must be the party of a transformed, world class social care sector, delivered by a National Care Service.

Conference further believes that this pioneering service must have at its heart a workforce strategy which gives social care workers an equivalent status to those working in healthcare, and a decent wage for all care workers.

Conference therefore resolves to establish a National Care Service, that will:

  • end the postcode lottery on standards in both service delivery and treatment of the workforce;
  • guarantee the necessary public funding, delivers a world class system of care and support so that as with the NHS, receiving high-quality care does not come down to the financial means of the recipients of the service;
  • extend the insourcing of care services through public procurement, remove profit from our social care system, and delivered locally – provision of social care must never again treat the demands of shareholders as more important than the needs of care users; 19
  • implement national standards on terms and conditions, negotiated with social care trade unions;
  • ensure care workers are paid at least in line with average wages (now £15 an hour), with clear routes for training and progression.

UNISON
GMB


Composite 11 – public services

Conference notes Labour’s proud record as the party of public services. From the NHS to Sure Start, it is the Labour Party and the Labour movement that delivers for our communities in government. Conference further notes that public services have been battered by a decade of Tory austerity and privatisation, with local government under particular attack.

Health and economic outcomes have suffered before and during the Covid-19 pandemic as a result. Conference believes that the pandemic has shown that our public services need a transformative and radical Labour government now more than ever.

Conference resolves that the Labour Party will:

  • Fight for public services free from profit, funded through general taxation
  • with any increase falling on those 21 with the broadest shoulders – and brought back – in house’.
  • Build a campaign with trade unions, community and tenant organisations, service users and Labour councillors to fight for the funding necessary to not only stop, but reverse local government cuts.
  • Place renewed pressure on the government to honour its commitment to fully fund councils and the NHS for the costs of dealing with the pandemic and lost revenue resulting from lockdowns.
  • Ensure that in government, Labour delivers for public service workers, ensuring decent pay for those who keep our communities going. Until then, Labour will campaign for real pay rises for 80 all public service workers, including calling on the LGA to increase its current pay offer and encourage Labour councillors to support an increase.

Unison
Unite


Composite 12 – mental health in the workplace

Conference understands that while anyone can experience a mental health problem, some people are more vulnerable because of their economic and social position and the work they do.

Conference recognises work and the workplace as a cause of, and contributor to, mental distress. Low-paid, insecure work and poor working practices put workers at increased risk of mental health problems. These factors, combined with the experience of workers throughout the pandemic, have led to a steep increase in individuals seeking support from their employer and mental health services.

Conference is concerned by the persistent low levels of awareness of disabled workers’ rights under the Equality Act and the barriers people face accessing reasonable adjustments and support at work that are key to remaining in, and progressing in employment.

Conference is clear that strengthening collective bargaining rights is crucial to better terms and conditions and better support for mental health at work. Trade unions and union reps play a vital role in negotiating and promoting good policy, tackling stigma, enforcing rights at work and transforming workplace culture.

Conference calls on the Labour Party to commit to:

  • Strengthening the Equality Act and improving enforcement mechanisms paying particular attention to the right to reasonable adjustments.
  • Introducing mandatory disability pay gap reporting.
  • Repealing anti-trade union laws and strengthening collective bargaining rights.
  • Supporting employers by developing a statutory mental health at work plan to include core standards around training, awareness raising and decent work.

Union of Shop, Distributive & Allied Workers
Unison


Composite 13 – LGBT+ rights

Our history as a party has always been anti-bigotry in all its forms, and we know the value of minority groups in strengthening our country’s social fabric. It is vital that we take a firm stance and stay true to these roots in both our internal and external policies, in order to build a better future for everyone, with Labour, together.

Conference notes:

  • Statistically, LGBT+ people are experiencing higher levels of persecution within society on a systematic and routine basis. Transgender people face substantial barriers and experience high levels of exclusion and violence through persistent transphobia.
  • Intersex people experience erasure and harm through anti LGBT+ violence. Many LGBT+ people are unable to receive appropriate and timely health care services.
  • Likewise, LGBT+ people have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Conversion therapy refers to any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to reduce or stop same-sex attraction or to suppress a person’s gender identity based on the premise that being: Lesbian, Gay, Bi or Trans is a mental illness that can be ‘Cured’.
  • In the UK, all major counselling and psychotherapy bodies as well as the NHS, have concluded that conversion therapy is dangerous and harmful; and have condemned it by signing a Memorandum of Understanding.

Conferences believes:

  • Supporting LGBT+ people, specifically transgender and intersex people, ensures the liberation of all. The limited protections afforded to the LGBT+ community are persistently under threat.
  • Campaigning to protect and improve healthcare access to all trans people is vital; including expanding Gender Identity Clinic services (many of which currently have waitlists for medical treatment exceeding five years), safeguarding trans youths’ access to safe and recommended interventions by the medical community, and protecting free birth control for trans men and non-binary people.
  • Conversion therapies are both unethical and harmful; and also promote hateful values in society that homosexuality/bisexuality and being transgender is an illness.
  • That these – therapies- are damaging with no qualified scientific support.
  • That the use of conversion therapy on persons under the age of 18 is a form of child abuse.

Conference resolves that the Labour Party must:

  • Recognise the obstacles and growing violence LGBT+ people face within society.
  • Put forward solid and tangible actions in terms of education and health care policy.
  • Adopt policy to make Conversion Therapy illegal and its use on people under the age of 18 classified as a form of child abuse, punishable by law.
  • Assert trans people’s same right for self-determination as anyone else, and fight for measures to improve protections and services.
  • This should include safeguarding equal access to domestic abuse/rape support and shelters, with particular improvement needed for trans women and ensuring that steps to prevent violence against women includes all women. Noone should be barred or limited from accessing support services for being trans or nonbinary.

Pendle CLP
Penrith and the Border CLP

Labour Assembly Against Austerity Conference Fringe 21. Photo Credit: Labour Outlook Archive.

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