Care homes staff fight back

Mike Luff, Bristol Unison (personal capacity)

At the Bristol rally in support of the RMT strike, Josh Connor, branch organiser for Bristol Unison, spoke of the coming strikes at St Monica’s care homes. The clapping at the rally was in support and solidarity, unlike the hypocrisy of the St Monica’s Trust who publicised the clapping of the same care staff only two years ago for their sacrifices during Covid.

Three months ago, the staff at four care homes were told that they had to accept new inferior contracts or be fired. Bristol Unison balloted its members, resulting in an 84% vote for strike action.

The proposed changes threaten many members with cuts to pay, cuts to sick pay for all staff, making housekeeping and catering staff do jobs they never signed up to, telling night staff to reduce hours, and cutting the amount of time staff can spend with residents.

Some face a pay decrease of as much as £400 a month. Trust managers have targeted the longest-serving and more experienced workers at the homes for the biggest cuts. Meanwhile, the trust is advertising for agency staff at an hourly rate that is £7 more than workers doing the same jobs currently earn!

St Monica’s Trust recently reported its financial position as ‘strong’, with net assets of £306 million.

The strikes are taking place on 29 June, and 2, 5, 10 and 11 July. A rally will be held on Saturday 2 July at 11.30am at the Greenway Centre in Southmead, Bristol.