“There are too many people at work who are treated like cogs in a machine rather than being human beings, and there are too many people who don’t see a route from their current job to progress and earn more and do better.” – the Taylor report is in, but will it change anything…?
 
There’s a lot to sort out… “research by Cambridge and Oxford sociologists indicates that 4.6 million people are on flexible contracts, meaning they have minimal guaranteed hours that can be subject to last minute changes and reductions, often having a negative impact on their home lives and mental health.” (The Independent)
 
And the effects might be terminal… “social factors such as education, employment and working conditions and poverty all affected life expectancy by influencing lifestyles. As austerity was placing pressures on these, they may in turn be influencing life expectancy.” (BBC)
 
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Out and about
 
Sheffield Equality Group monthly meeting
7pm to 9pm, Wednesday 6th September, Quaker Meeting House, St James St
Discussing the Question Time card project, the inequality game, and projects for the coming year. All welcome. Free. Donations for tea and biscuits.
 
The Real Junk Food folks continue with their excellent work – one of their Pay As You Feel cafes and the Sharehouse Market continues over summer. They also have a new school learning initiative.
 
If you have some time to spare and would like to do something practical to create a better society, volunteering is an excellent start!
 
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Ways to fix the machine…</div>

 
Work with the people affected… “among the families we work with, we repeatedly find that parental confidence is on the floor. And yes, this is probably related to financial stress within a family. The Foundation Years Trust cannot provide a cure for financial hardship. However, we do find that once parents realise how much they already know and already do to support their child’s early development, their self-perceived ability to parent improves.” (Open Democracy)
 
Support the people affected… “if one thing sticks with you from reading this, then let it be to buy an extra bag of porridge oats, some long-life milk or a few tins of soup every now and again and donate to your local food bank, which you can do at most supermarkets. Many foodbanks, including the one I volunteer at, rely completely on donations from people like you and me.” (The Motherload blog)
 
Create an equal society (no-one will object, more or less)… “Our equality condition shows that people would accept the elimination of hierarchies,” write Zhou and his colleagues. “It is only when winners become losers and losers become winners that people object.” (Ars Technica)