Care workers win 'fair deal' as Tower Hamlets mayor signs new charter with Unison
PUBLISHED: 11:38 10 June 2016 | UPDATED: 12:15 10 June 2016
An 'ethical care charter' to improve working conditions for home care workers is being formerly signed today by one local authority in London's deprived East End.
The charter drawn up by the Unison public workers’ trade-union sets minimum standards by making care-service providers pay fair wages with fair conditions and proper training.
This includes getting rid of the controversial ‘zero hours’ contracts.
The requirements are being brought in through new ‘home care’ contracts agreed by Tower Hamlets Council with mandatory standards that external care services will soon have to carry out.
Mayor John Biggs is signing the Ethical Care Charter with Unison’s general secretary Dave Prentis at the Town Hall this-afternoon, in front of carers and service users.
“I’m formally committing the council to improving the working conditions of home care workers,” the Labour mayor said.
“The charter makes sure care workers are paid properly and treated professionally, to provide better care for our elderly and vulnerable people.”
The charter is aimed at investing in more funds in frontline services and ensuring that all local authorities’ priority is the care workers and the vulnerable people in society who depend on them.
Unison’s local Tower Hamlets care workers’ representative Kerie Anne said: “Home carers are providing good care despite an escalating crisis in the national system and poor conditions. The council adopting the charter will improve employment conditions and training.”
Care workers up and down the country have been lobbying the union about being forced to work with ‘zero hours’ contracts and not being paid for travel time.
Tower Hamlets maintains that its current care providers already meet one or more of the charter demands—but the new contracts coming in next April resulting from today’s agreement with the union makes sure all its requirements are carried out.