Solidarity, support and donuts

Lily Kerr extending solidarity and sharing donuts with staff on the picket line in North Belfast

Lily Kerr headed up a group of local Workers Party members as they joined with staff on the UNITE the Union picket line at Alexandra Park Recycling facility in North Belfast earlier this morning.

Workers from local councils, the Education Authority, the Housing Executive and number of colleges have been forced to take industrial action following the refusal by management to move on a pay offer of just 1.75% – effectively a cut in income after eleven years of pay freezes.

“It is intolerable,” Lily said” that these workers, who helped keep our society functioning during the pandemic and who now face rapidly escalating rises in the cost of living, should be treated in such a callous and uncaring manner”.

“The Workers Party is adding its voice to the growing demands for management to propose a realistic pay settlement in line with staff expectations and one which will recognise the massive hike in living costs and the invaluable contribution these workers make to our everyday lives”, Lily said.  

Health inequalities must be addressed


Health must be the Assembly’s No.1 priority

Workers Party health spokesperson, Lily Kerr, has welcomed the announcement that the Health and Social Care Board is to be done way with as part of the most recent review of health and social care services but has criticised the lack of consultation with staff and unions.

 “This decision is long overdue”, Lily said ” Although we are now going through yet another structural review of services in only a matter of years, this morning’s announcement that the Health and Social Care Board will no longer be a part of our health and social care structures is to be welcomed”.

“I would now welcome conformation from the Minister that this spells the end of the disastrous policy of ‘purchaser/provider’ split’, she said

Health inequalities persist

“Despite the fact that our health and social care services have been through several re-organisations over the past forty years and millions of pounds have been squandered on new structures – each one having a detrimental effect – report after report indicates that health inequalities have not improved. Monitoring reports make it clear that “…the absence of a whole systems approach in Northern Ireland has resulted in Health Inequalities persisting at the same level or worse for the previous ten years‟, said Lily.

Open and transparent debate

The Workers Party believes that what is needed is an open, transparent, and courageous debate on the type of health and social care services that are required to deliver quality health outcomes, and deal with decades of inequalities. That debate must challenge vested interests, inside and outside health and social services and be prepared to think big”.

Number one priority

“Health can be fixed, but it requires the political will to do so. The Northern Ireland Assembly and the Executive have to reinstate Health as the number one priority within the programme for government”,  Lily concluded.

Party supporting Care Homes Campaign

Care home closures are Stormont cuts

Care home closures are Stormont cuts

Party members  joined the public rally at Stormont earlier this week to protest about plans to close up to 12 care homes across Northern Ireland.

The protest, organised by ‘Friends of Care Homes’ and supported by trade union UNISON –  was held to held  to lobby MLAs for their support in opposing  plans to close all NHS residential care homes.

Party representative Lily Kerr said,”This has nothing to do with improved care for older people. These are the financially driven decisions  – not of the Tories at Westminster – but of MLAs at Stormont’.