Socialist Worker

Your Choice Barnet workers bear brunt of Tories’ privatisation

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2424

Your choice Barnet and Care UK workers strike together

Your choice Barnet and Care UK workers strike together (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Care workers at Your Choice Barnet (YCB) in north London have announced two strike days.

The walkouts are planned to take place on Tuesday and Thursday of next week.

The Unison union members are fighting greed bosses’ attempts to slash their pay by 9.5 percent. 

The workers have already struck for four days over the past month. YCB is a council-controlled company that has cut staff numbers by a third and attacked pay.

Over the last 18 months there has been a 30 percent reduction in staff as workers have been made redundant by care bosses’ cuts.

Staff working in Supported Living and at Valley Way respite service have had their out-of-hours payments slashed.

The attacks on workers’ pay and jobs comes as Barnet Council, run by the Tories, is under increasing pressure from Unison over details of the company’s finances.

Talks at the Acas conciliation service revealed YCB took a £1 million loan from Barnet Homes, also controlled by the council.

This has created large financial difficulties and created the pressure for jobs  and pay to be cut. It has also transpired that, unlike deals for private companies given council contracts, Barnet Council is not covering historic pension contributions for YCB workers. 

The union is asking why private firms are receiving preferential treatment. Unison is calling for the workers to be taken back under local authority control.

Early in September this year the Barnet care workers were joined by Doncaster Care UK strikers on the picket line.

Both groups of workers bear the brunt of outsourcing care services—but they are determined to fight to maintain quality of service for those they care for. 

Care UK workers are also fighting to defend their jobs and conditions.

Send messages of support and requests for speakers to contactus@barnetunison.org.ukSend strike fund donations to Barnet Unison Industrial Action Fund, Building 4, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London N11 1NP. For more information on the Your Choice Barnet dispute, including a breakdown of demands go to: barnetunison.me.uk/?q=node/1394

 


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