Response to care workers' strike

Published: Friday, 19th January 2018

Councillor Paulette Hamilton, cabinet member for health and social care, responds to the announcement that care workers are to strike over vital changes to our enablement service

“It is really disappointing that Unison has decided to take this action.

“It is absolutely vital we make these changes because the current system simply does not provide a good enough service for our residents.

“Of course we all recognise that individual staff are committed and work hard to support the city's residents, but the way that we currently deliver the service does not give good outcomes for them.  Our care staff currently only support people for 60 per cent of their working day, while the best performing enablement services typically spend 90-95 per cent of their time engaged in face-to-face care. This is not fair to our residents and cannot go on.

“Officers have been in negotiations for nine months to try to resolve this. We have consulted thoroughly with staff resulting in a number of changes to our original proposals and we have made staff aware of support that is available to them.

“We have found a working pattern that meets most people’s requirements and ensured there will be no compulsory redundancies.  We are therefore confident we have done everything we can to resolve this, which makes this action even more frustrating.

“So I want to say to our residents: during this industrial action you will continue to get the home visits you are expecting, so please do not worry. We are trying to do all we can to provide you with the better service you deserve.”


Key service changes:

Now – only 20% of service users leave enabled

Future – 80% will be enabled

Now – 40% of paid staff time is downtime

Future – all time will be productive with 95% with service users

Now – evening and weekend shifts do not have adequate staff cover to meet service users’ needs

Future – there will be consistent staffing cover across the working week

Now – there is no capacity to support hospital discharge and referrals from hospital are being turned down

Future – enablement will be a key service for older adults with a focus on hospital discharge


Fact checker

  • There are 290 enablement assistants working in the service who will be affected by the service redesign.
  • There are no compulsory redundancies of enablement assistants taking place.
  • Staff chose to work over fewer days in the week and fewer weekends preferring to work selected days with split shifts instead.


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