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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 May 2014

Care UK workers start 14 days of strike action

Alistair Tice

Lots of hands went up to volunteer to join the Doncaster Care UK strike committee set up at the strikers' rally on 5 May, which began a further 14 days of strike action.

Ninety-three Unison members have refused to sign the new contracts that private care company Care UK are imposing on former NHS staff who provide supported living for adults with learning difficulties.

This service was privatised by the council last year leading to proposed 35% pay cuts. Workers have already taken 20 days of strike action over the last three months and intend to make the next two-week strike really count.

Plans have been made to take a coach full of strikers down to the company headquarters in Essex. Other companies in the hands of their private equity owners Bridgepoint will be targeted for protest as well.

Care UK has just announced it's pulling out of a Newcastle GP service contract two years early. They say: "after reviewing our business strategy it was decided that Care UK will not run the service past January 2015". In other words it cannot make enough profit out of it.

In Aberdeen, Care UK was rated "weak" for quality of care and support, staffing, and management and leadership following visits by the Care Inspectorate. The company says: "The buoyant local jobs market means we have found it extremely difficult to recruit suitable people to support worker roles". Which really means it pays low wages!

Care workers in Doncaster report many worrying changes in the quality of care since the privateers took over and the union is producing a dossier to present to the Care Quality Commission. Strikers will also show up in force at the next Clinical Commissioning Group meeting. These are the new Tory established bodies that control NHS purse strings.

The strikers' Unison branch is also expected to call on the union nationally to go on the offensive against Care UK by mobilising its organising team to recruit Care UK workers around the country and organise protests at regional Care UK offices like TUSC did two weeks ago.

Send messages of support to admin@unison-dab.org.uk Donations/cheques made out to: 'Doncaster, District & Bassetlaw Health Branch' should be sent to: Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster, DN4 5GJ.

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In The Socialist 8 May 2014:


Socialist Party election campaigning

Fight cuts, Back strikes, Vote TUSC

More local news coverage for TUSC, but BBC downplays council elections

Join the TUSC Thunderclap

Defend the right to campaign

Why I'm standing for TUSC

Housing crisis: TUSC candidates demand socialist policies

Election appeal 2014 - 4,278 raised so far


Socialist Party feature

Prepare for almighty battles against austerity


International socialist news and analysis

$15: Seattle shows what a movement can achieve


Socialist Party news and analysis

Schools - Would things get better under Labour?

Private sector rents and Labour

Care homes abuse scandals

Pfizer takeover bid

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

RMT forces London Underground to back down

Striking against Land Registry cuts

Care UK workers start 14 days of strike action

CWU conference - time to build Broad Left

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

We can scrap zero-hour contracts

No support for zero-hour contracts

RMT turns out in strength for May Day march

May Day rallies in Swansea and Ipswich

Battling the cuts: when push comes to shove

Freedom riders on a storm

Leeds protest against privatisation of student loans


 

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