Socialist Worker

Home care workers saving service from destruction

Issue No. 2586

Care workers in Glasgow striking against cuts in 2014

Care workers in Glasgow striking against cuts in 2014 (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Around 350 home care workers in Birmingham plan to strike later this month.

They voted by 99 percent for strikes over redundancies and a new rota system. The turnout was 54 percent.

Labour-led Birmingham City Council plans to make 40 percent of home care enablement staff redundant.

Managers also plan to introduce punishing split shifts—7-10am, 12-2pm and then 4-10pm. The reality is many workers won’t be able to get home between shifts or, if they can, won’t be there for long before having to be at their next call so they won’t get a break at all.

Care worker Lisa said that due to the public sector pay cap and the loss of weekend overtime she has had to take a second job just to pay the mortgage. “These changes mean I will have to give up one of the jobs and could lose my home.

“We haven’t had a proper pay rise since 2010. I can’t afford to strike, but I can’t afford not to.

“It’s not just about me, but the service we provide is being destroyed.”

Home carers earn between £15,823 and £18.560 a year.

Messages of support to Donations to Unison Birmingham branch, The McLaren Building, 46 The Priory, Queensway, Birmingham, B4 7LR Payable to Birmingham Unison and make it clear that it’s for the Hardship Fund

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