Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

23 June 2021

Facebook   Twitter

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Sacking non-vaccinated care workers will not save lives

Nurse injection healthcare NHS Employers (Creative Commons), photo NHS Employers (Creative Commons)

Nurse injection healthcare NHS Employers (Creative Commons), photo NHS Employers (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Glynn Doherty

The Tories' announcement that care home workers will have to be vaccinated to retain their jobs is a deliberate, if somewhat botched, attempt to distract attention from their appalling safety record on Covid-19. Boris Johnson is trying to crudely hijack and exploit understandable concerns about safety for elderly or sick adults to cause divisions between ordinary people.

As a trade union organiser, I have spent fifteen months supporting workers in the social care sector as they fought their employers for adequate PPE, testing, staffing levels and rest breaks to keep people comfortable and alive.

I have also had to occasionally represent workers who, for reasons I may disagree with but which they nevertheless sincerely hold, refused to wear masks or have tests. A minority don't want the vaccination. Most, in my experience, because of concerns about the vaccine's potential effect on their current health rather than any, more speculative, anti-vaccination stance in general. Behind this is often a genuine and justified distrust of the Tory government with their horrendous record over Covid, and the inequalities of capitalism.

A populist kneejerk reaction will do nothing to save lives and will, conversely, endanger them.

Staff shortage

There are up to 120,000 social care vacancies in England at any one time, caused by poverty pay levels, atrocious working conditions, and bullying bosses. Adding to this crisis by sacking workers is the height of irresponsibility and stupidity.

Being vaccinated in itself does not necessarily prevent someone being a carrier. Workers who have had the vaccine still need testing. But carers no longer being there at all will cost lives!

Extending these plans to NHS staff, as has been suggested by vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi, would cause huge, unnecessary disruption to a service already in deep crisis, with chronic understaffing. Any compulsory vaccination could also lead to potential human rights legal actions against the government, costing millions from the public purse.

The unions must get agreements now, from local authorities and the NHS, that workers can be redeployed into non-caring provision roles. However, this may be virtually impossible for workers in the thousands of non-union-recognised employers providing social care for profit.

If health and social care was brought into democratic public ownership, the process of redeployment on equivalent pay, terms and conditions would be entirely possible. It would also enable the provision of adequate PPE and testing required to keep social care workers, and those using the services, safe.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 23 June 2021:

What we think

Chesham and Amersham by-election


NHS in crisis - 'It's time for action'

Outsourced London hospital workers fight for better pay

Leicester private healthcare tragedy

Exeter Trades Council backs NHS protests


Northern Ireland and Brexit

Sacking non-vaccinated care workers will not save lives

Furlough reduction risks job losses

Building back better? Fight for a socialist recovery

Anti-protest bill breaches human rights

Tories deliberately underfund childcare

Unite election

Unite general secretary contest: Vote for Sharon Graham

NSSN conference 2021

NSSN conference 2021: When given a lead workers will fight


Women and the criminal 'injustice' system

Tory review won't deliver justice for rape victims


Iran's presidential election

Are Biden's immigration policies a break with Trump's?

Workplace news

Interview with newly elected Unison NEC member and hospital worker

Gateshead: Bosses sack sparks protesting for safety measures

Oaks Park school strike against bully bosses

Leicestershire engineers' fifth week of strikes against fire and rehire

DVLA dispute: Escalation needed

Warehouse workers fight 50% cut in redundancy pay

Carmarthenshire: Fighting for trade union recognition at council-owned company


TUSC calls for local 'People's Budget' campaigns

Youth Fight For Jobs: more urgent than ever

London Socialist Party young members' day school

'Socialism is the hope of the world'

Fighting Fund target smashed!

Readers' Opinion

Book review: Shuggie Bain

Response to Observer article on China


Home   |   The Socialist 23 June 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:

Care workers:

triangleWorkers shouldn't pay for health and social care plans

triangleCare workers struggle for a pay rise and trade union recognition

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: Fair pay for NHS and care workers

triangleMansfield Socialist Party: Save our NHS! Campaigning for NHS and care workers' pay


triangleSocialists and the four-day week

triangleStop press: Sparks walk out

triangleWorkers at 13 colleges to strike over pay

triangleTory cuts to UC: we need a union fightback


triangleNHS workers reject 3% insult

triangleOn the frontline, and still fighting for the NHS

trianglePutting socialism on the map in Chichester


triangleNews in brief

triangleReaders' comments


triangleTax fraud could be over 20 billion annually

Article dated 23 June 2021

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party


Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales


Bulk book orders

New member submission


triangle27 Sep Leeds Socialist Party: The Transitional Programme

triangle29 Sep Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Brazil and Latin America

triangle30 Sep Southampton Socialist Party: How green is Southampton?


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1148 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files

CWI rally, Sunday 26 September 2021, 14-00. Youtube.com/CWImedia

A CWI rally, Sunday 26 September 2021, 14-00. Youtube.com/CWImedia

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version