William Eichler 22 December 2017

Home carers take Christmas vote to strike

Home carers take Christmas vote to strike   image

Care home workers in Birmingham have balloted to go on strike in protest at job losses and new shift patterns.

The public sector union Unison reports that 99% of Birmingham home carers balloted have decided to go on strike in January.

The union claims there are 350 home carers but the council challenges this figure and argues there are not even 300 carers in service. They claim only 200 voted.

Unison is in dispute with Birmingham City Council over cuts to the Homecare Enablement Service that includes job losses and new shift patterns the union says are ‘unworkable’.

‘We have been in talks with the Council for over 6 months but they are just not listening to us,’ said Caroline Johnson, branch secretary for UNISON Birmingham.

‘They want to cut the workforce by 40% but make the remaining home carers work an impossible shift system. This would force many carers to work three split shifts in a working day.

‘They would have to work 7am-10am, 12 noon until 2pm and then again from 4pm-10pm. Many would find it hard to get home and back to their shift in the breaks meaning they could be out from 7am – 10pm.’

The council claims staff chose to work over fewer days in the week and fewer weekends, preferring to work selected days with split shifts instead. It also says there are no compulsory redundancies of Enablement Assistants.

Cllr Paulette Hamilton, cabinet member for health and social care, said: ‘As an employer we have a duty of care to our staff which I fully endorse and appreciate; so it is vital that they are engaged and listened to as they are the ones delivering these services in people’s homes. 

‘Following on from extensive consultation, management have revised proposals and made changes to the initial proposal. It is clear though that this service needs to change to improve the outcomes delivered to our vulnerable citizens and to have a service that is fit for purpose. 

‘I have always been very clear that the door is open and remains open for further discussions around outstanding issues, so we can work together to provide the best possible service for our citizens.’

Tackling mistrust about vaccines image

Tackling mistrust about vaccines

Dr Justin Varney looks at how Birmingham is working to tackle the ‘layers upon layers of mistrust’ among ethnic minority communities that is ‘now playing out in vaccine hesitancy’.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior infrastructure engineer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£45.834 - £56.141
You’ll lead the building, testing and monitoring new and existing services both on-prem and in the cloud. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Infrastructure engineer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£37.772 - £46.999
This is a great role in a vibrant and growing team; we’re looking for people who have some experience in infrastructure engineering... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Solutions Architect

Essex County Council
Solutions ArchitectPermanent, Full TimeCompetitive SalaryLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Growth, Investment and Tourism – Dover District Council

Dover District Council
Competitive Salary
In this role, you will find significant and nationally important physical, economic and cultural assets with the capacity to... Dover, Kent
Recuriter: Dover District Council

Monitoring Officer / Assistant Director Legal, Registration & Electoral Services

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£90,205 per annum         
This is an exciting time to join Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and an opportunity to make a real difference. Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue