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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 February 2013

Care workers fight cuts in pay and conditions

Unison members in South Derbyshire healthcare branch are having an activity in Derby on Saturday afternoon, 16 February, to publicise how the Thera Trust treats its workforce.

Staff at Thera East Midlands (TEM), part of Thera Trust, support people who have learning difficulties and challenging behaviours.

A Thera employee spoke to Gary Freeman:

Thera is proposing to bring in a draconian contract in the East Midlands and in some (possibly all) other Thera companies which will mean wage cuts for TUPEd [transferred] staff and an end to overtime at weekends, at night and on bank holidays. Staff will lose over 300 a month.

The company wants cuts in sick pay, and a workforce at the beck and call of the employer. The employer's proposed contract means that they can send staff to any site in TEM and if it is at the beginning of the shift, the employee will have to get there in their own time and expense.

Similarly, if staff are not at their usual base at the end of a shift, they are expected to get home in their own time and expense.

The employer wants to introduce annualised hours with no pay for extra hours worked and due to staff shortages, we are concerned about not being paid and also that we will never get the hours back.

The employer wants to include a clause in the contract giving them the right to change the contract when they want. They have also threatened further wage cuts for all.

The company's contract will inevitably lead to a loss of its skilled workforce and will affect the quality of care that support workers are able to give.

Our union branch organises TEM workers in Derbyshire; other Unison branches organise members in other parts of the East Midlands.

We recently had a consultative ballot across the whole East Midlands with a 93% vote for strike action.

Unison members from Thera North in Lancashire (where the union is recognised) are attending the protest.

The union is now preparing for an official ballot in the East Midlands and we hope to win union recognition from this dispute.

Protest Saturday 16 February, Osnabruck Square, Derby, 12.30pm-2.15pm

Informal meeting immediately afterwards in the upstairs room at the Dolphin Inn, Queen Street DE1 3DL

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 13 February 2013:


Socialist Party NHS campaigning

'Save our A&E' - Defend the NHS

Mid Staffs hospital scandal: Big business culture kills


Socialist Party news and analysis

GCSE U-turn shows all Gove's 'reforms' can be stopped

Smash the blacklist - not the unions!

Victory over 'workfare' sanctions

Horsemeat scandal: good for profit, bad for health

"Fully funded" social care plan - still needed

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

15 February 2003: A million on the streets to stop the war


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Campaigning against cuts

TUSC: 'No cuts' candidate in Eastleigh

Nottingham: Campaigning for comedy without misogyny

Support the fight for a socialist alternative

Socialist Party 2013 national youth and student meeting


Socialist Party workplace news

Unison region calls for general strike

Care workers fight cuts in pay and conditions

Workplace In Brief


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Martial law ends ferry workers' strike


Reviews and readers' comments

Low pay + high prices = debt misery

Film review: 'No' - an exercise in rewriting Chile's history

Spielberg's Lincoln by Tony Mulhearn


 

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