What does it say about our society when 93 care workers are sacked and barely a mention is made in the media or by politicians?
This week consultation closed on the decision to sack 93 care workers.
Barnet UNISON has submitted our report into the shocking sacking of 93 care workers in what has been a shameful consultation.
To understand our anger and sadness at what has happened I encourage readers to read our report which is online here or Barnet UNISON Response to Apthorp Consultation 22.10.21 FINAL
“Throughout the negotiation it emerged that the decision to vacate Apthorp had been taken by Barnet Council with no consultation with any other stakeholder other than Your Choice Barnet (YCB). The rationale for this has been stated over and over but the information underpinning this decision has been withheld. This has limited the trade union engagement to one of simply negotiating the redundancies rather than avoiding them. Consequently we have unanswered questions and we dispute the view that this discussion is not relevant to the trade unions.
The decisions around Apthorp directly affect the staff who are trade union members. Furthermore there is the potential for a significant knock-on effect in terms of the budget. As a result Barnet UNISON has been denied the opportunity to consider alternatives which may have ended up being less costly both on a financial and a humane level than the only option presented.” (An extract from the report)
What is deeply troubling is that this happened in the week of the CQC report “The State of Care”
Some of the headlines in the report are below.
- “The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says health and care staff are “exhausted and depleted” and working under intense levels of pressure.
- Urgent action is needed to stop a “tsunami of unmet need” rippling across essential services this winter, the care regulator has warned.
- Desperately needed social care staff are quitting their jobs to work in the tourism and hospitality sector because they are ‘burnt out’, the sector has warned.
- Exhausted staff are leaving the key worker roles to fill shortages in other sectors, as pubs and restaurants struggle to find enough staff.
“We have Covid infection levels increasing daily, an overworked and under resourced NHS staff, a deliberate lack of action/leadership by this government and lack of leadership from the political opposition in Parliament and a negligent national media, it looks like we are sleep walking into a health and social care crisis of biblical proportions. We will continue to do what we always do for Barnet UNISON members which is providing public support and standing side by side with them whatever is happening to them.”
(John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.)
Background to the Save Apthorp campaign
1.Update: 93 Covid heroes face the sack
2. Barnet UNISON request the right to speak on behalf of 93 Covid Heroes
3. What happened to the 11 Barnet Council Care Homes and day centres in 1999?
4. What is going on, just who owns Apthorp care home?
5. Update on Apthorp consultation: Save Apthorp
6. Join our We Are Barnet Save Apthorp lobby in person and online
7. A Tale of Two Priorities
8. Is Apthorp care setting closing or not?
9.Going, going gone, sold to…….what is going on at Apthorp?
Please come along in solidarity for our 93 Covid Heroes who after working through Covid were told two weeks ago their jobs were going.
The lobby starts 6 pm outside Hendon Town Hall and finishes at 7 pm.
This will be an opportunity to hear from the care workers directly as to what has happened.
Barnet UNISON has a proud history of standing up for members when they are in need therefore we are calling on all Barnet UNISON members and trade union members to attend our Solidarity public lobby.
We had asked to speak at the Adults & Safeguarding Committee which starts at 7 pm inside Hendon Town Hall , but our request was denied.
We have been offered a meeting and we are waiting for the date and time.
We also want to extend our request for solidarity to the wider Trade Union movement and we are pleased to announce that our lobby will be hosted by Socialist Telly.
You can find Socialist Telly on You Tube here https://www.youtube.com/c/SocialistTelly
Here are details to join the Save Apthorp care home lobby online
Join Barnet UNISON Zoom Meeting Tuesday 14 September at 5.45 pm – 7 pm
Meeting ID: 882 3024 6920
Colleagues from Adult Health and Social Care are also affected by this new legislation as anyone attending care homes as part of their work will also have to be vaccinated against COVID. We are having constructive and positive discussions with the Senior Management Team to avoid colleagues being dismissed. However, our members are rightly concerned at the potential for divisions to open up in teams around this question.
Additional key questions are: how will the employer keep the information as to who is vaccinated and who is not, and how/when will this be shared with staff and with UNISON. This is all new territory for us and not one we wanted to be in, so all questions and suggestions are welcome with the aim of doing our utmost to protect everyone from harm at work.
UNISON has now published its guidance just this week – please read here
The Good News is that with the support of our Bin workers, Barnet Council has agreed to restore National Green Book Weekend and Bank Holiday rates of pay which will mean large numbers of our lowest paid members will be earning more money.
In February 2021 Barnet UNISON submitted a proposal for a COVID thank you payment for all frontline workers, care workers, school staff, depot workers.
The Bad news is that this proposal was rejected.
Details of our proposal is here.
and the Ugly.
On Friday 11 June 2021 Barnet UNISON enters into negotiations with The Barnet Group and Barnet Council about the serious inequalities in the workplace that are bad for the health and well being of our members and their families.
“Employers can no longer mistreat staff who take part in industrial action, says UNISON”
“UK law had previously prevented employers from sacking staff involved in strike action or other workplace disputes, but not from disciplining or making life difficult for them, says UNISON.
But now, disciplinary action against workers who go on strike will be unlawful. This follows today’s judgment at the employment appeal tribunal (EAT) over a case taken by care worker Fiona Mercer against the Alternative Futures Group (AFG).
She had been involved in organising, and subsequently took part in, a long-running dispute over AFG’s plans to cut payment for sleep-in shifts undertaken by its care staff.”
Read more here.
Support #WeAreBarnet frontline workers by registering to join our second public rally on Weds 19 May 2021 6.30 to 7.30 pm
Wednesday 21 April 6.30 to 7.30 Barnet UNISON Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 851 0050 8740