UNION

Home carers win 'battle for hearts and minds'

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29 Mar 2019
Press Office

Press Office

GMB Scotland has today [Friday 29 March] said home care staff in Dundee City Council have ‘won the battle for hearts and minds’ in their city after service management climbed down on its imposition of changes to shift working, which would have cut staff pay by up to £4,500 a year.

Following a home care review meeting on Wednesday between trade unions and council representatives, it was confirmed:

· An imposition on split-shift working will be lifted, removing the threat of pay cuts;

· A collaborative approach to the future of service delivery will be carried forward; and

· A commitment will be made by councillors to stave off the threat of privatisation.

“The campaign has been long and difficult with many of our members wondering how they were going to make ends meet or be able to continue working against the backdrop of their family commitments if these reforms were imposed.

Helen Meldrum, GMB Scotland Organiser

The news was hailed by home care staff who campaigned for eighteen months against local Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) plans that threatened significant cuts to their terms and conditions of employment and upheaval to their working time arrangements.

Helen Meldrum, GMB Scotland Organiser, said:

“The cuts climb down by the HSCP and the commitment by the council to the future of the service in public hands demonstrate that our members have won the battle for hearts and minds in Dundee about how we value our home care staff.

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“The campaign has been long and difficult with many of our members wondering how they were going to make ends meet or be able to continue working against the backdrop of their family commitments if these reforms were imposed.

“That massive burden has now been lifted because of the dignity and determination of this workforce, predominantly women, to stand together and ask their employer: ‘Is this really how you value us and the work we do?’

“This result doesn’t guarantee the future - our council is in the midst of a second decade of austerity - but it does show that staff on the frontline of local services can defend their interests and have greater control of their future if they organise and campaign together.”

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