Striking to save care standards

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From: Mental health worker

Name and address supplied

I know this current strike is about pensions and that is what I am supporting. But for me it is fundamentally about protecting care standards.

If the Coalition wants to pay the public sector less, well, just be honest and address the subject, does Britain no longer see the vulnerable as ‘worth it’?

What about the argument that if you want the right person you need attractive remuneration?

Because the public sector runs relatively well, it is easy to think it isn’t important. Please don’t underestimate the quality of the people who commit their working lives to keeping us protected. Do not deliver this into the hands of the bankers. Look at the track record of both, Carers v Bankers?

It is a paradox that the Festival of Remembrance gathers meaning over the years, attended, in part by the very people who seek to devalue the vulnerable. I think those we honour would be disgusted by recent Governments.

Don’t tell me it is because the money isn’t there, because it is, I can actually see it, in Sheffield on a day-to-day basis and not just around Parliament.

They tried to fine a footballer 4 weeks wages, £1 million! Margaret Thatcher claimed £500,000 in the last 5 years, not in pension, not in wages, but in expenses!

Every time there were wage negotiations in the public sector the Government said the money isn’t there, but it was for RBS?

Just how stupid do they think we are? Stupid enough to suggest a 15-minute strike!

The public sector has been squeezed for decades.

I remember the famous Neil Kinnock speech about him being the first to go to university in his family. Those were the days!

During Labour’s years of government the gap between rich and poor grew.

It is my belief that someone in the Government got a Dickens novel as a gift and suddenly realised there was a way to marginalise the majority of society.

In order for a country to blossom, it needs to encourage and educate from the foundation, poor people are not given the opportunity.

Politicians now are millionaires, totally out of touch with real lives.

I am asking society as a whole to empathise with the public sector.

On a personal note, as a mental health social worker, I seriously fear for the service we are delivering here in Sheffield.

At best, we are treating the vulnerable with contempt, at worst, we are creating a care service that leaves the vulnerable open to significant abuse and harm and increases the likelihood people will end their lives.

Yes, it is that serious.