Members of the public and trade unions around the world including the Global Trade Union will call on governments to provide decent working conditions and fair pay to care workers on the Global Day of Action for Care on 29 October. The call recognizes the contribution being made to society by workers across the health, care and education industries both whether in the public or private sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted health and care as being central to our wellbeing and existence and has laid bare the effects of decades of under-investment in public health and care systems and the harmful politics of austerity. Pre-existing national and global structural inequalities across gender, class and racialised lines have been exposed and exacerbated. While many countries were ill-prepared to deal with the scale and rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic, millions of care and health workers, mostly women, were left without access to essential personal protective equipment and other health and safety measures. Trade unions will stress that the need for adequate investment in equitable, quality public health and care systems is more apparent and urgent than ever with workers around the world taking action and calling on governments to invest in care which means investing in:
· Public health and care including mental health, childcare, early childhood education, elderly care and other social care services that serve all our communities
· Creating millions of decent, green jobs in health, care and early childhood education
· Respecting the right to freedom of association and to collective bargaining for all health, care and education workers, whether in the formal or informal economy
· Decent pay and working conditions including equal pay for work of equal value, training opportunities and occupational health and safety
· Equity and non-discrimination in recruitment, retention, access to training and promotion opportunities
· Universal, gender-responsive social protection available to all workers regardless of employment status or migrant status, race, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation and inclusive of workers in the informal economy
· Availability and accessibility by all to quality public health, care and education services
· Building more inclusive, accessible, resilient and caring economies.
Workers across the health, care and education sectors, whether working in hospitals, hospices, schools, care homes, private homes or as domestic workers deserve decent working conditions and fair pay. . The unions are calling for the pay and working conditions of these workers to reflect the enormous contributions they make to our societies.