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Green Party Backs February 1st Strikes

Local Green Party is backing striking workers

Green Party members across the East Midlands showed their support for workers striking across various sectors on 1 February.

Wednesday's strikes saw hundreds of thousands of workers in the NHS, education, rail, the civil service and other sectors walk out to demand pay rises and proper funding for services.

The Green Party has publicly called for public sector pay rises in line with inflation, with funding provided by Whitehall.

The Greens have also called for privatised public services like rail and Royal Mail to be brought back into public ownership.

Derbyshire teacher Brent Poland is helping his union the NEU organise its biggest strike ever. He said: "The response from society at large has been fantastic, and parents are in support of our action. They know we unlike this government actually care about their children’s education. We have no choice but to take this action -- there is a recruitment and retention crisis in education, with many teachers being forced to work unsustainable hours and fill in gaps by teaching unqualified subjects."

Rob Butler, a refuse collector and GMB member in Leicestershire, said: "Council workers and council contractors like me have been have been pressured into accepting pay deals well below inflation. We hope to break this trend this year. I'll be continuing my support of other striking workers on local picket lines and at rallies."

Local government worker Lesley Whetton will be at the Chesterfield rally as a Unison rep. She said: After years of attacks from the Tory government on public sector workers, we have had enough, recent ballot results show this. Staff are under pressure so many take work home and work through breaks, equating to many hours unpaid work."

Chris Williams, a UCU member at the Open University striking on Wednesday, said: "We're proud that the Green Party is 100% behind the Enough is Enough campaign, and today we're out alongside our fellow trade unionists to get a result. Last year my branch moved 4000 tutors on to permanent contracts. Casualisation is a choice by management -- and if we fight it, we can reverse it."

The number of Green trade unionists is growing: Green policy on social justice and sustainability is union-friendly. At a point when more workers have decided that radical change is necessary, the Greens are the only party with a national profile and an electoral track record pushing for it.

East Midlands Green Party members are available for comment, including striking workers. Please contact Chris Williams (East Midlands Green Party Trade Union Liaison Officer) on 07718 629651 or