Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/810/18580
Care UK workers start 14 days of strike action
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Donations/cheques made out to: 'Doncaster, District & Bassetlaw Health Branch' should be sent to: Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster, DN4 5GJ.
In The Socialist 8 May 2014:
Socialist Party election campaigning
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns