Received from: Unison
Congress places on the record its profound thanks for the bravery and sacrifice of public service workers who cared for the vulnerable and ensured that our communities continued to function during the pandemic.
In honouring their contribution, Congress calls for the TUC to campaign for the public inquiry into the pandemic to have the authority to compel disclosure of evidence under oath and enable the voices of workers to be heard.
Those responsible for failings and negligence should be held to account and lessons learned.
Congress notes that the UK has suffered worse health and economic outcomes than most other countries. A major reason for these failings is the fact that the UK has been hamstrung by a decade of damaging austerity.
Congress agrees with the eminent epidemiologist Professor Sir Michael Marmot that the UK suffered particularly badly from coronavirus due to disinvestment from public services and an accompanying growth of economic and social inequality since 2010.
This was made worse by the UK government’s mishandling of many aspects of the response to the pandemic, including the decision in England to hand responsibility for the Test and Trace system to private companies and to spend billions on contracts with private operators, many of which were awarded to Tory donors.
Congress agrees to campaign for a new post-pandemic plan for profit-free public services – championing long-term sustainable investment, decent jobs and fair pay across local government, the NHS, social care, education, policing and public services more widely.