We know that Sarah ‘did everything right’; she walked a busy route, she made a phone call and let people know where she was going and when she was going to be home. But that didn’t stop the violent attack that cost her life. Almost 80% of women killed by men in the UK were victims of their domestic partner and were killed in their own home. Safety measures would not have protected them.
The pitiful submission by the Tories of a 1% increase for all NHS staff to the Pay Review Board is a huge kick in the teeth to all those frontline workers. The government’s hypocritical excuse for the award is that they cannot afford it. This jaw dropping assertion has left even media commentators agog at the Tories’ complete underestimation of the mood in the workplace and the wider public. As soon as the information was made public on March 6th, nurses’ social media posts began to hum with fury and rage, as well as understandable despair. Sunak had just delivered a budget which had committed to spend another £65bn in the next 4 months and then claimed there was no money left!
The main reasons for this are two-fold. On the one hand, because of the still devastating situation in which most working people still find themselves. In the midst of a third lockdown, with rising unemployment, millions are relying on furlough, Universal Credit and other schemes to make ends meet. For these millions, the run up to Sunak’s budget brought constant reminders of the potential cliff-edge facing them and their families.
GMB’s industrial dispute at British Gas continues with engineers braving all weather in their fight to protect hard won terms and conditions. With massive public support, thousands of members have already taken 16 strike days against their bullying employer Centrica. The next round of industrial action began this morning with the launch of a four-day strike, and more are in the pipeline.