Socialist Worker

Hundreds of Birmingham care workers set to strike over cuts and rotas

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2587

A previous strike by home care workers in Glasgow

A previous strike by home care workers in Glasgow (Pic: Duncan Brown)


Hundreds of vital workers in Birmingham are striking to save a home care service from cuts.

Some 350 home care workers voted by 99 percent for strikes against redundancies and a punishing new rota system.

They’ve announced strikes for this Saturday (11am-2.30pm) and Tuesday 6 February (12 noon–2.30pm).

The workers are part of a home enablement team that cares for people in the first six weeks following discharge from hospital.

They help to give people the skills to live independently in their own home.

The council’s plans will slash the number of home carers by 40 percent.

Wider cuts have seen the social care workforce drop from over 7,000 in 2010 to fewer than 2,000 now.

The Unison union members also face a new rota system that will see them work three separate split shifts in any one day.

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The Labour-led council is proposing that carers work 7-10am, 12-2pm and 4-10pm.

Workers fear this could lead to mistakes being made.

Caroline Johnson, branch secrtary of Birmingham Unison, said, “Our members love their work and want to provide the best care they can for our most vulnerable citizens.

“But staff know that if they are forced to work the new rotas they will be left exhausted with no time to recharge their batteries.”

The home enablement team operates during evenings and weekends.

Carers are not paid extra for unsociable hours, or for their travel time.

Strikes by bin workers forced back some of Birmingham council’s attacks last year.

Home care workers’ strikes can do the same.

Send messages of support to info@birminghamunison.co.uk
Make cheques payable to Birmingham Unison and make it clear it is for the hardship fund
Join the strike rally—Saturday 20 January, 12 noon, Victoria Square, B1 1BD

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