Worcester Trades Council organised a hustings that was cancelled because of the Manchester bombing atrocity. All candidates were given the questions before the hustings and the following replies would have been given if it has gone ahead. The Green Party thanks WTUC for the original invitation and offering to send this link to the guests who were invited to attend the hustings. My replies to each question are in bold.
1. What will you do to make sure that vital legal employment and health and safety protections for workers will be protected and enhanced after Brexit?
I will call for all existing employment and safety protections to be preserved.
2. Will you pledge to support an end to zero-hours contracts and other bogus and insecure forms of employment?
3. What proposals do you have to increase the share of national income paid out as wages including an end to the 1% pay cap on public sector workers?
Cap will be removed. Funding for increasing pay will be made by increasing tax on the most wealthy.
4. Are you in favour of rationing decisions about treatments in Worcestershire-such as hernia repairs or hip replacements for example-being made as now by the local NHS Commissioner rather than on a case by case basis by the patient’s own doctor?
No, clinical need to be assessed by the doctor.
5. How will you help to address the long waiting lists for mental health services whilst ensuring that patients are given the most appropriate and effective mental health treatment by suitably qualified staff when currently NHS England do not have statistics which clearly show patient need and where calculations of the skills mix required has not been made?
Statutory target that consultation and therapy to be given within 21 days. Parity of esteem. Reverse cuts to mental health funding which were reduced from 1.4% to 0.7% of NHS funding between 2013 and 2016.
6. Are you committed to reducing excessive workload for teachers and how do you propose to achieve this?
Yes, need to listen to teachers and support them. Reduce paperwork and bureaucracy involved in OFSTED, abolish SATS and stop meddling with exam grading and changing the syllabus. Bring schools back under local democratic authority control.
7. Do you agree we need to renationalise the Railways and will you work to halt plans for driver only operated trains?
Yes, money is being wasted on private profit. Driver only trains are just about saving money by downgrading the job of train guards. Busy platforms etc.
8. Are you committed to maintaining the Human Rights Act including the right to join a trades union?
9. Are you opposed to assisted suicide and euthanasia?
No, it should be an absolute right to end one’s own life if :
• limited to terminally ill and mentally competent adults
• requires the dying person to end their own life and does not permit another person to do it for them
• has a waiting period to give dying people time to reflect on their decision
• requires assessment by doctors and a high-court judge
• allows the dying person to die at home
- Are you committed to the protection of the rights of unborn children?
I have skipped the last question about a mothers right to choose to terminate a pregnancy before 24 weeks because it requires more than a few bullet points to answer the question properly – but short answer is that I support the mothers right to decide before 24 weeks.
For more information about the Green Party’s policies on worker’s rights and employment please see this link: https://policy.greenparty.org.uk/wr.html
Main website: https://www.greenparty.org.uk/
Local party website: http://www.worcestergreenparty.org.uk/