The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives of students and young workers in a way that would have seemed unprecedented a couple of months ago. Young Socialists of the Committee for a Workers International in Ireland (CWI Ireland) have outlined a number of our demands in this charter.
- More than 1 in 3 workers between the ages of 15-24 are now unemployed. We will not pay for this crisis!
- Many essential workers are young people that are often in low paid jobs with inadequate working conditions. This crisis has proven who really runs society. Full support to all essential workers including introducing a real living wage and an end to precarious working conditions.
- It is essential for young workers to join and play an active role in their trade union to protect their jobs and working conditions.
- Trade unions should offer support to all young workers, including those in non-unionised workplaces.
- We welcome the extension of the Covid-19 payment to cover students and demand for this to continue throughout the crisis with no refunds sought.
- Rent free accommodation for students unable to return home and no evictions of students who can’t afford to pay rent for the next period.
- Students must be able to withdraw from housing contracts if they’re not living there at this time.
- Young Socialists will continue to campaign against the increase of student accommodation rents, especially in light of this current crisis which will place many students in even further financial difficulty- this has already happened in a number of universities.
- No to private residencies full stop – universities shouldn’t be the private landlords of students. We call for the public ownership of student accommodation.
Health and Safety
- PPE for all medical students drafted to the HSE and full pay for all students working for the health service.
- Support for students self-isolating- equipment must be provided by universities for home study, health provisions and food delivery to be offered if necessary.
- Full funding for on campus doctors and easily accessible free mental health services for all.
- No Covid 19 penalty for any young person’s education – for the right of every young person to a decent and free education.
- Full pay for all staff in the education sector. No cuts to jobs or services on campus – if there are funding issues in universities then open the books for inspection by campus trade unions and the student union or democratically elected student committees.
- Abolish student fees– for fully funded higher education under the democratic control and management of workers and service users.
- For democratic trade union and student oversight of university administration and the applications process to universities – any increased intake of students to be met with at least a proportionate increase in funding for teaching resources, services on campuses, and affordable student accommodation.
- Introduce “No Detriment” policies in all universities. No assessments or exams taking place during this period should have a detrimental impact on the current average of students. For the right of students to retake the year without academic or financial penalty.
- We welcome the decision to cancel the Leaving Cert- being forced to prepare for the exams at home disproportionately affects young working class students, many of whom do not have a suitable place to study, or the technology required for online classes. This, paired with the huge uncertainty surrounding the exams up until the 8 th of May, has put an enormous amount of stress on Leaving Cert students.
- The proposal to replace the exam with Predicted Grades also raises huge concerns for schools in disadvantaged areas, students who have been unable to attend school for various reasons and the fact that they didn’t know that their grades throughout the year were going to end up being the equivalent of the Leaving Cert.
- Ultimately, the Leaving Cert model is not fit for purpose anyway. We need to fight for a fairer education system that encourages students’ individual abilities and caters to differing needs, as opposed to a two week memory test.
- Increased funding to universities, as well as democratic student and worker oversite to the admissions process will be necessary to ensure students are able to get their first or second CAO choice.
Join the CWI Ireland:
CWI Ireland is the Irish section of the Committee for a Workers International. We stand for the socialist transformation of society run by and for the working class.
The vicious nature of capitalism has been continuously exposed throughout this crisis and has starkly posed the necessity of a socialist alternative. Years of under-funding and austerity cuts to our essential services has exacerbated the severity of the crisis and put huge strain on workers.
We call for banks and big businesses to be taken into democratic public ownership under management and control of the working class. The lives and health of the working class must be put before the profit of universities and big businesses. We need Democratic socialist plan of production to provide free education and a decent future for all.
Agree with what we’re saying? Get involved today!