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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 August 2017

End poverty pay for sleep-in care workers

Care workers are some of the most exploited in the country

Care workers are some of the most exploited in the country   (Click to enlarge)

Katie, support worker for adults with learning disabilities

'Amnesty' for care companies, more poverty wages for the workers.

Since the NHS began outsourcing care services to private companies and charities, wages and conditions for carers, support workers and healthcare assistants have been squeezed. The care sector is fast becoming the new slave wage job where employers are taking advantage of the cheap overseas labour pool. And with more and more older adults and more people with disabilities living into adulthood these services are at full capacity.

As a result there are thousands of workers across the UK who are being paid illegal wages. One such case has highlighted the issue. The charity Mencap has been found to be in breach of minimum wage laws for paying 29.05 for nine-hour, sleep-in shifts. And this is not a rare case. As a carer and a support worker I have undertaken sleep-in shifts for a variety of companies with one paying as little as 24 for a nine-hour shift. Yet a recent government ruling has let these companies off the hook. Mencap claimed that obeying the law could lead to a loss of services to vulnerable adults.

But where is the amnesty for those staff who spend nights away from their families for a pittance? Some staff have been asked to sleep with noisy monitors beside their bed and fire doors that slam shut at 4am.

The Socialist Party calls on all unions to back a list of demands including hourly pay for sleep-in staff, without averaging out and for a massive increase in investment into care services, including from local councils.

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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 9 August 2017:


What we think

Venezuela shows battle Corbyn would face


Socialist Party news and analysis

Striking back against poverty pay

Rashan Charles death: End police racism and austerity

Coventry: march following racist police killing

Government's tribunal fees defeat

40% of England's psychiatric wards are 'unsafe'


Marx's Capital at 150

Marx's Capital at 150: an unequalled analysis


Socialist Party workplace news

Angry Birmingham bin workers enter fifth week of strike action

Barts strike: Keep up the pressure on Serco and the trust!

Steel workers at Rom Ltd strike for a pay rise

Coordinated action needed to break pay restraint

End poverty pay for sleep-in care workers

RMT condemns Welsh government rail privatisation


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Young, angry and fighting back

Young Socialists off to a flying start in Cardiff

Campaign fights closure of Chatsworth rehab ward

Support for Socialist Party campaigns at biggest ever Leeds Pride

Northern Pride's a success

Housing safety campaign kicks off in Coventry

Far-right thrown out of Newcastle

Postie paper sale


International socialist news and analysis

Venezuela: Capitalist offensive sharpens after assembly elections

Workers' struggles in Peru: eyewitness report


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

How much reserves have councils got?


Global finance

Global finance: Are those storm clouds ahead?


Music review

Crunchy guitar and poignant dialogue in alt-rock homage to south Wales miners


 

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Related links:

Care workers:

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: Fair pay for NHS and care workers

triangleMansfield Socialist Party: Save our NHS! Campaigning for NHS and care workers' pay

triangleSacking non-vaccinated care workers will not save lives

triangle'Sleep-ins' ruling must lead to a huge campaign for social care workers' rights

Workers:

triangleIsrael: Hospital ancillary workers' strike suspended

triangleIn brief: News, reports & analysis from the CWI

triangleFight Freeports to stop bonfire of workers' rights

triangleNationality and borders bill

Poverty:

triangleTories and Labour fail on child poverty

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party

triangleKeep the Universal Credit uplift

Pay:

triangleTower Hamlets Labour backs Tory cuts

triangleBexley bin workers strike for better pay

Wages:

triangleFurlough reduction risks job losses

Outsourcing:

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Healthcare:

triangleScrap the privatising health and care bill

NHS:

triangleUnite to fight Tory pay insults

Carers:

triangleManagement tells carers PPE would 'worry' residents

Minimum wage:

triangleUnion fight to save musicians' livelihoods

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