AGM Matthew Dickinson – Salford City UNISON – Local Organiser Report

By March 2, 2018News & Blog, Uncategorized

Dear Comrades,

Please see the details below that sum up the last 12 months in Salford City UNISON:

  • We have spent time in the community speaking to workers in social care to find out what their issues are. A variety of issues exist, namely big issues like the none payment of the minimum wage, the lack of travel time and issues with night shift workers not getting paid for a break but being expected to stay on site. To name but a few.
  • We have organised in a number of care organisations across the city. For example Living Ambitions and Creative Support, where we have stewards. We also have activists in a significant number of care homes, Beenstock Home, Kenyon Lodge, Heath Cottage and the Newlands etc
  • We held the first training, nationally, to get accredited stewards in the care sector, specifically just for care workers. This was deemed a very successful trial and a place in which region (and hopefully national) can use to improve their training delivery. Bob Kelly (Leaning Regional Organiser) from region is 100% committed to assist Salford with this.
  • The North West Region (UNISON) gave us a local organiser, Ann, to assist us specifically with our work in Salford. I would like to thank her for her excellent and hard graft and I hope she will continue to work with us in the future!
  • I managed to use my membership of the Labour Party to get the a motion passed that called for the ‘’ WELL PAID, WELL TRAINED, WELL TREATED WORKERS IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY OF PROVIDING DECENT HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE”. Which also included, an encouragement for the Council to adopt Unison’s Ethical and Residential Care Charter, which they are looking into.
  • We have been working with the Elected Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett and the Local Councillors to allow Social Care Staff to whistle blow on some of the bad practices they have to endure during work. Paul came with us to some homes to see the conditions for in first person and allowing the staff to speak freely on their issues. By working with these elected officials, we have had some success in gaining access to work places that we had deemed impossible.
  • Rebecca Long-Bailey MP has agreed to write to difficult care homes in Salford to help us gain access.
  • We attempted to work with Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre and one of the largest care homes in Salford called ‘’The Fountains’’ to get some ESOL classes up and running to help International Workers, however the hedge-fund that owned the home removed the lease and took control back, thus losing out on a great opportunity.
  • We have tried to go for recognition at three care homes so far. Hope Manor, Barton brook and Kenyon Lodge. So far it has been difficult to finalise the process but we will keep trying. We are going through the CAC route with Kenyon Lodge now, which is the statutory route. Some new and exciting campaigns are coming up for this soon!
  • Salford City Unison proudly helped achieve a 10% pay-rise for domiciliary care workers in Salford – taking their hourly rate to £8.30 per hour. This is clearly a good start but being a care worker is a very professional job and deserves to be recognised as such.
  • We continue to work with Greater Manchester Citizens with some community campaigning. We attended a BUPA Care Home in Gorton to encourage them to pay better wages – BUPA made over £200m profit last year. This relationship is continuing to grow but will be monitored to see how we can help each other over the next 12 months.

Plans for the next 12 months:

  • Continue our work in Social Care – Continuing to attempt to get some more recognition agreements with some of the big providers in Salford.
  • Continue to work productively with the local council and the elected representatives.
  • Organise a committee of likeminded care workers, to ensure that support networks are opened and solidified. Working with region to get social care worker specific steward training.
  • Keep working with Aspire to get one steward per building/home.
  • Collectively Organise in Housing Associations.

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