UNISON protest following strike announcement by care workers

Protest following strike announcement by care workers

Protest following strike announcement by care workers

First published in News Times Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A protest took place following the announcement of a strike.

UNISON members held a protest outside Hendon Town Hall last night. It followed the announcement by UNISON members at Your Choice Barnet, in High Road, Whetstone, of strike action next Monday and Tuesday, due to a 9.5 per cent pay cut.

John Burgess, UNISON Branch Secretary, said: “This marks the start of our public campaign to get a three way meeting with the council and Your Choice Barnet. We put in another request today. We need to have talks.

“These care workers have had enough. They feel very upset and angry. That’s what led them to a massive vote for strike action.

“This dispute is primarily about service quality. They are trying to deliver the same service with 30 per cent less staff.”

The members will also be planning four other days of strike action.

A number of care workers were at the protest, along with people from all over Barnet.

Janet Leifer, from North Finchley, said: “I’m concerned about social care in the borough. With people who are vulnerable, you need people you can trust. It’s very difficult. We are trying to give them a voice.”

Tracey Lees, Your Choice Barnet’s CEO, said: “We are disappointed with the proposed strike action being taken by Unison Members at Your Choice schemes next week. The rates of pay for Adult Social Care are a national issue that cannot be resolved by Barnet Council paying one supplier higher than market rates. In spite of the savings that needed to be made, our terms and conditions, which include generous sick pay and pension schemes, remain higher than the majority of our competitors.

“We are especially concerned with the impact on our service users, their families and carers any industrial action might have and the short notice to put in place adequate alternative arrangements but are working closely with them to make sure any disruption to their routines and family lives is minimal.

“We have agreed to hold further discussions with Unison and ACAS but as yet these have not been forthcoming.”

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