Socialist Worker

Care workers won’t shift under bosses’ pressure

Issue No. 2608

Fighting over pay and shift changes in Somerset

Fighting over pay and shift changes in Somerset

Workers at seven care homes in Bath and North East Somerset struck over pay on Wednesday of last week.

The Unison union members are planning to strike for two hours every other day for the rest of June.

Bosses at Sirona Care and Health want to change their shifts—meaning workers could lose up to £1,200 pay a year.

Scandalously, management want workers to accept a pay cut equivalent to 30 minutes per shift.

The other option is to accrue a 30 minute “debt”, which workers would have to work for free at a later date.


John Drake, Unison South West organiser, blasted Sirona bosses for trying to implement a “frankly Victorian system”.

“The more they work, the more time they owe back to their employer,” he said.

“The care system relies on workers’ willingness to go the extra mile, but this is a step too far.

“We don’t want our relatives looked after on the cheap, yet that is what Sirona and Bath and North East Somerset council are doing.”

Care services used to be run by the council.

They should be taken back in house and funded properly.

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