Over the past few months it’s become increasingly obvious that key workers are absolutely essential in keeping the country running.
But the way they’re treated shows how little they’re involved in actually running the country.
Trade unions were founded to give working people a greater say in their working lives. And unions founded the Labour Party because we realised it’s no good having a louder voice at work if you haven’t got any voice where the decisions are made — not just on company boards but in council chambers and Parliament as well.
We believe that workers in public services are the experts on how they should be run — that’s why we’re supporting Labour’s Run to Rebuild campaign, encouraging an army of key workers to get involved and run for office.
Workers like Sarah Barber, a nurse, a UNISON member, a Labour councillor in Ipswich, and star of a new series of videos encouraging key workers to run for office.
For Sarah, being a nurse, joining UNISON and running for the council were all connected.
“I joined UNISON because I realised that nurses need a union that realises to improve things you need to act beyond the workplace. A union affiliated to the TUC that understands the political side of nursing and the NHS.”
And the same thing led to her becoming a councillor.
“As a nurse your work with individuals on one day and try to take care of them — but the things leading up to it you have no control over. As a dermatology nurse many of my patients have skin conditions that could have been prevented.
“But at the moment the Co-operative Party, part of Labour, is lobbying for VAT to be taken off sun cream. That could have a real impact on the health of people I work with.”
“Basically, it’s important how we choose to spend money.”
And, as you can see in Labour’s video, she wants other public-sector workers to get involved.
“We do the job and we know what people need. The government we have, the local councillors we have, it all makes a huge difference.
“Being a councillor gives you a voice. It give you power to make a difference.”