Tomorrow morning, Tuesday 21 February, teachers, university lecturers, front line ambulance crews and their support staff as well as other healthcare workers in hospitals and the community will take industrial action in support of wages, conditions and the future and the quality of services.
This marks a major escalation in the campaign of industrial action which has been ongoing for the past eighteen months
It also sees one of the first formal joined up protests by trade unions from different sectors. Tomorrow will be a significant day.
Teachers would rather be with their pupils, lecturers with their students and healthcare workers with their patients and clients. They have no option but to take this action in defence of services, safe staffing levels and a wage which reflects the skilled and important work that they do.
Tomorrow is not only about recognising and supporting the work of teachers, lecturers and healthcare workers and the contribution that they make to our society. It is about the very future of our education system and of our health services.
Underinvestment, unsafe staffing levels, failure to pay a fair wage and creeping privatisation in both health and education is already leading to people turning their backs on those career options. Day by day, we get closer to two tier services. Those who can afford it can get the best. The rest of us, our children and our families get cut adrift.
Tomorrow is about pay and conditions. It is about recognising the value of those who provide key and essential services on our behalf. But most of all tomorrow is about tomorrow, and the day after and the day after that.