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Working class families have had enough - at this election, we want better

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At this general election, the TUC urges working people to use our votes to fix Britain and make politicians put working class families first.

This is the most important election in a generation for working families.

No matter who we are or where we come from, all of us should have a chance to get on in life.
But millions of us are held back from providing for ourselves and our families.

Public services are crumbling. Wages have stood still – but the cost of living keeps going up. And too often the only jobs available are insecure or temp jobs on low pay.

Working-class families have had enough. We want better - a country where our kids can get on.

But Boris Johnson doesn’t get it. No matter what happens, he and his rich mates will be okay.
And it’ll be working-class families stuck at the sharp end.

That’s why, at this election, the TUC is calling on all parties to put working families first.

1. Get wages rising faster for everyone - not just top earners

The latest figures show that the average worker is paid £14 less a week (after inflation) than before the recession. That’s the longest wage squeeze for centuries .

But the highest earners have seen their pay rise faster. Between 2016 and 2018, the top one per cent of earners saw their take home pay rise by 7.6 per cent, compared to just 0.1 per cent for the average worker .

And the typical FTSE 100 executive still earns 117 times the pay of an average worker .

That’s why we need a plan that gets pay rising for everyone, not just a few at the top. That means:

  • A £10 minimum wage for everyone, now
  • New rights so that more workers can bargain through their unions for fair pay and conditions, in their workplaces and across industries.
  • Electing workers onto boards and remuneration committees to help curb greed at the top
  • New rules to make employers to report on and act to close race, gender and disability pay gaps.

2. Ban zero hours contracts and guarantee everyone the security at work we need

3.7 million people – or one in nine workers – are in insecure work. Last year the number of people on zero-hours contracts rose by 100,000 to nearly a million (900,000).

We need a new deal for workers that gives everyone the rights and security they need at work. Getting more workers protected through their trade unions is the best way to secure that. But workers need new legal protections too, including:

  • A ban on zero-hours contracts
  • New rights for all workers from day one in their job - including a right to redundancy pay and family-friendly rights.
  • Protecting millions more people from unfair dismissal by bringing down the time limit from two years to one
  • A guarantee that hard-won rights like holiday pay and rights to breaks won’t be slashed by any future government.
  • A right to positive flexible working from day one of your job, with employers required to advertise all jobs on that basis

3. Rebuild our NHS and the public services we all rely on - don't cut taxes for the rich

Meeting the rising demand on our public services is one of the key challenges for the next government.

This is all the more difficult given the devastating impact of ten years of austerity on our NHS, schools and other vital services.

For the NHS, this means:

  • a minimum increase in spending of 5% per year for the next five years, including an 11% increase each year in capital investment to build new hospitals, upgrade existing ones and replace outdated equipment like MRI units and CT scanners.

For schools, we need:

  • to reverse all the cuts schools since 2015
  • help to level up school funding around the country, deliver promised teacher pay rises and cope with rising demand from pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).
  • At least £9bn more a year is needed by 2025 to reverse cuts to every school in England, plug the gaps in SEND, post-16, early years and pupil premium and to fully fund pay commitments for teachers and school support staff.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Our local authorities, our social care services, our emergency services all need large-scale investment to restore the services and capacity lost since 2010 and meet the needs of our communities going forward.

We need to stop the alarmist talk about 1970s levels of spending and realise the benefits to our public services and our wider economy that intelligent and strategic state funding can bring.

And all parties need to rule out new tax cuts for those at the top – the priority has to be investing to rebuild world-class public services instead.

Let’s fix Britain and put working-class families first

At election time, we’re powerful when we speak up together.

We can put up with a system rigged in favour of the rich and the bosses. Or we can vote to make things better for working class families.

So at this general election, the TUC urges working people to use our votes to fix Britain and make politicians put working class families first.