Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/26725

Posted on 16 January 2018 at 14:09 GMT

Birmingham home care workers to strike

Privatised NHS workers employed by Care UK in Doncaster striking against cuts, photo Paul Mattsson

Privatised NHS workers employed by Care UK in Doncaster striking against cuts, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Birmingham Socialist Party

On 20 February, Birmingham home care staff will be taking strike action against their employer Birmingham council - a Labour council.

The Blairite Birmingham council is making quite a name for itself having only recently suffered a defeat to the Birmingham bin workers after their 12-week strike action which brought down the then council leader John Clancy. Now other council workers are taking a fight to its doors.

The strike is over changes to the home carers' working patterns where they will have to work three split shifts during the day: 7am-10am, 12pm-2pm and 4pm-10pm.

These home care workers are lone workers travelling from their homes to the service users' houses, many by public transport, to provide six weeks of care for people who have just left hospital.

These unrealistic and exhausting working patterns will become a barrier to many of the workers who will no doubt be forced to leave their jobs.

These new patterns are just one of many ways the Labour council is unravelling its social care for the people of Birmingham, a city with a population of 1.1 million.

In 2010 there was a social care workforce of over 7,000 compared to less than 2,000 today, with the council looking to make a further 40% of the home care staff redundant.

By continuing to run the service into the ground it will make it easier for the council to scrap the care altogether and leave the local community to depend on the private sector - a sector which is profit driven at the expense of both the workers and service users.

Fight for funding

Unison, which has balloted the home carers, rightly points out that central government has cut the funding for local councils but the union fails to place blame at the local Labour council too.

After the massive backing of Corbyn's anti-austerity manifesto in last summer's general election, local Labour councils are in a better position, now more than ever, to fight against austerity and refuse to carry out a single cut.

They would have the backing of the local community, workers and trade unions. Yet what does Birmingham council do? It does the Tories' bidding and carrys out devastating cuts without putting up the tiniest bit of fight.

In the 1980s, Militant, the Socialist Party's predecessor, had city councillors in Liverpool who defied Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher and refused to implement cuts.

Instead they fought for more funding from central government, built council houses and created jobs.

It would not be hard for Birmingham council to do the same and potentially topple the current weak and divided Tory government, yet this is unlikely to happen while the council is a Blairite stronghold following the same ideology as the Tories.

Birmingham home carers will be striking from 11am to 2.30pm on Saturday 20 January with a strike rally being held outside Birmingham council house at 12pm.

The strike will be seen as more than just about their working patterns but also a fight to defend public services and the service users they care for.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 16 January 2018 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Birmingham:

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: The Iran 1979 revolution

triangleFat cat vice chancellors schooled by Brum students

triangleMajority of kids poor in some areas

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Football under capitalism

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: Local elections 2018 - What should socialists do?

Workers:

triangleAfter 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

triangleBernie's book shows need for workers' party

triangleCapita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house

triangleUniversity workers' walkout for decent pensions

Strike:

triangleLecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

triangleGerman engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

triangleNewham academies strike continues with three schools to strike together

Care workers:

triangleBrum care workers protest council attacks

triangleEnd poverty pay for sleep-in care workers

Council:

triangleSave Salford nurseries!

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

23/2/18

UCU

Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

21/2/18

Strike

German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

21/2/18

Cardiff

Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success

21/2/18

Nottingham

Nottingham hospital black alert

21/2/18

East Midlands

Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference

21/2/18

West Midlands

Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference

21/2/18

Wales

Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead

21/2/18

Bradford

Bradford protests against kids' service cuts

21/2/18

May Day

May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!

21/2/18

Kirklees

Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

21/2/18

Salford

Save Salford nurseries!

21/2/18

Caerphilly

Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

21/2/18

Council

Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation

21/2/18

Leicester

Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!

21/2/18

UCU

Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999