Socialist Worker

Oxford health workers demand lower rents and higher pay

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2520

Protesters in Oxford

Protesters in Oxford (Pic: Oxfordshire Unison Health Branch)

Some 200 protesters in Oxford last Saturday demanded affordable housing.

Oxford is one of the most expensive cities in Britain, and has seen house price and rent rises almost as severe as in London.

But there is no weighting of wages to account for this.

The Oxfordshire Unison union’s health branch called the protest.

Ian McKendrick, a nurse at Warneford Hospital and Unison activist, said, “We are looking at rent controls, council house building and raising wages to retain essential staff in the city. I think it would require national intervention.”

Protesters were also out to oppose the Housing and Planning Act, due to come into effect next April.

The £30,000 Pay to Stay threshold outside London will push working class people to move to satellite towns.

“Working people are being priced out of our city,” said lead councillor for housing Mike Rowley.

Summit’s afoot for councillors

Councillors who oppose the Housing and Planning Act are invited to a summit in London on 22 October.

Housing campaigners met last Saturday to discuss the next steps in the campaign against the Tories’ Act.

Tenants and activists talked about how to pressure councils not to implement the Act, and finalised the details of the summit.

It will take place at Hamilton House in central London.

More information at

If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.