Public Ownership and Pay – Key model motions for Labour Party Conference 2022

“As the Conservatives have elected a new hard-right leader, now is the time for Labour to reconnect with voters with hard-hitting, radical and transformative policies to drive up pay and to kick the profiteers out of provision of essential public services”

By Ben Folley, Labour Assembly Against Austerity

Labour’s annual conference comes at a time of the worst cost-of-living crisis in recent decades.

As inflation drives peoples food and energy bills out of reach, and pay, pensions and social security fail to catch up, people are falling increasingly into hardship and poverty.

Meanwhile, a few chief executives and their corporations at the top are making billions in profits at ordinary people’s expense.

As the Conservatives have elected a new hard-right leader, now is the time for Labour to reconnect with voters with hard-hitting, radical and transformative policies to drive up pay and to kick the profiteers out of provision of essential public services, by restoring them to public ownership.

Labour Assembly Against Austerity has drafted two key new motions for Constituency Labour Parties to consider sending to this month’s Labour Party Annual Conference in Liverpool.

One makes the case for a £15 minimum wage as soon as possible, embedding last year’s conference policy now supported by the TUC, as well as demanding an inflation-proofed pay rise.

The second makes the case for restoring energy, water, rail and mail in to public ownership, as Labour’s 2017 and 2019 election manifestos committed.

Please consider taking one to your CLP and ensure it is submitted to conference before the deadline on 15 September.

Public ownership motion from the Labour Assembly Against Austerity:

Public Ownership is Necessary and Popular

Conference notes:
That public ownership is popular with voters, with polling indicating these levels of support:
• Energy – 66% (Survation, 2022)
• Water – 69% (Survation, 2022)
• Royal Mail – 68% (Survation, 2022)
• Railways – 67% (Survation, 2022)
• Buses – 65% (Survation, 2022)
• Social Care – 64% (Survation, 2020)
• NHS – 84% (YouGov, 2017)

Additionally, 61% of the public think local and central government should try to run services in-house first,
before outsourcing (Survation, 2015,) 82% want schools to mostly be run in the public sector (Survation,
2020;) and 63% want utilities to mostly be run in the public sector (Survation, 2020.)

Conference believes:
The crisis caused by soaring energy bills and the scandal of raw sewage being dumped into rivers this
Summer have highlighted the failures of privatisation in Britain.
Private companies are making mega-profits from public services – these vast sums should instead be
invested to improve services, to give their workers a pay increase and to lower costs for consumers.
That the Tory corruption and outsourcing crises during the pandemic have further illustrated the need for
public ownership and democratic control.

A clear commitment to extending public ownership of key utilities and public services can be a big vote
winner for Labour.

Conference resolves:
• To oppose further Tory privatisation and outsourcing, including of the NHS, education and council
• To support public ownership of key services and utilities including energy, water, railways, buses,
social care, the royal mail and the NHS.

Pay and backing trade union action motion from the Labour Assembly Against Austerity:

Britain Needs A Pay rise

Conference notes:
Twelve years of the Conservative Government’s low-pay agenda has significantly diminished the real value
of people’s incomes with average real wages still below 2008 levels;

The situation is getting worse. Real pay dropped by 4.1% in June compared to the same period last year,
with record falls of 3.4% in the private sector and 6.7% in the public sector;
The imposition of significantly below-inflation pay awards which amount to real terms pay cuts;
An increase in trade union campaigning for improved pay awards, from protests to strike ballots and
industrial action;

That 76% of people support the view that pay should rise in line with the cost of living
(Survation August 2022)

Conference believes:
Below-inflation pay offers will increase poverty and hardship;
That the Government should not impose real terms pay cuts on public sector workers;
It is wrong that many private firms are imposing real terms pay cuts while making big profits, awarding
bonuses and large dividend payments;
Recent trade union campaigns, including strike action, have led to numerous enhanced pay awards.
Conference resolves:
To oppose the Conservative Government’s imposition of real terms pay cuts;
To support inflation-proofed increases in pay in both public and private sectors and urgent measures to
restore the real value of pay lost under successive Conservative Governments since 2010;
To support a National Minimum Wage of at least £15 an hour.
To support trade union campaigning, including through backing workers taking industrial action, to achieve
these aims.

  • Ben Folley is an organiser for the Labour Assembly Against Austerity (LAAA). You can follow LAAA on Facebook and Twitter.
  • The deadline for submission for motions to conference is Thursday 15 September 2022 at 5pm. Please take one of these crucial motions to your Constituency Labour Party (CLP).
Featured Image: Conference hall at the Labour Party Conference 2016

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