Securing a better future for key workers and the public services that have been supporting communities across the UK throughout the coronavirus pandemic is the aim of a campaign launched today (Monday) by UNISON.
The No Going Back to Normal campaign – promoted to coincide with the opening of the 152nd Trades Union Congress (TUC) – highlights how services like health, local government, social care and education cannot continue with the cuts, underfunding and decline that’s been commonplace for the past decade.
The campaign – spanning a short film, along with press advertising, outdoor ad spaces, as well as digital and social media – shows that while returning to ‘normal’ after Covid-19 may be a welcome step for many people, it’s anything but positive for public services and the staff running them.
Returning to ‘normal’ would mean going back to a culture of long hours, low pay, high levels of stress and poor morale, says UNISON. A motion on the issues raised by UNISON’s No Going Back to Normal campaign is due to be debated at the virtual TUC tomorrow (Tuesday).
What is needed instead is to get the country back on its feet, and value and invest in the people who’ve been keeping everyone safe, cared for and vital services running.
The No Going Back to Normal campaign is calling on the public to back UNISON’s demands to support key workers and rebuild public services by signing the union’s open letter to the government.
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The UK depends on key workers to keep public services running and everyone protected. But it’s taken a pandemic for their worth to be properly recognised. Some even owe their lives to frontline staff who’ve tragically died protecting others.
“Everyone is desperate to get back to normal. However, ‘normal’ cannot mean a return to low pay, penny-pinching and public services staff being under-valued. For too long, this has been the reality for those providing vital amenities including health and social care, policing, education and local government.
“The government must invest properly in public services and respect workers by paying them fairly and keeping them safe. It must reverse a decade of neglect – and start right now.”
Notes to editors:
-The No Going Back to Normal campaign will span press, outdoor ad spaces, digital and social media, and will run this month and October. The aim is to lobby the government in the run-up to the autumn Budget.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.
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