Hounslow LIFE is a floating support service commissioned by the London Borough of Hounslow, with referrals coming through the borough’s Homelessness, Independence and Preventative Services team. .
While some progress was made after workers pushed back against changes put forward as part of a restructure in August, a number of key issues have still not been addressed and Hestia is refusing to negotiate with Unite the Union, the trade union that represents the workers.
We don’t often see social care workers taking strike action. As we know, it is a difficult sector to organise in. If we want to see trade union membership and strength to grow within social care, we need to be backing all social care workers in dispute 110%.
WAYS YOU CAN SHOW YOUR SUPPORT
SIGN & SHARE THE CHANGE.ORG PETITION
You can sign the CaSWO! petition demanding better pay and conditions for the Hounslow LIFE workers. The petition will be sent to Hestia and the London Borough of Hounslow.
JOIN THE DEMONSTRATION / PICKET LINE
Workers will be picketing the service on Monday. You can join them from 0930 outside the Cafe Nero (231 High St, Hounslow, Greater London, TW3 1DH) next to the Treaty Centre in Hounslow.
There will also be a demonstration outside Hestia head office (Beaufort House, 15 St Botolph St, London EC3A 7BB) from 0830 on Wednesday.
SEND MESSAGES OF SOLIDARITY
If you’re not on social media, you can email your messages to CaSWO! and we can pass them on to the workers.
WRITE TO THE EMPLOYER AND/OR THE LOCAL AUTHORITY
You can let Hestia’s CEO, Patrick Ryan, know that you support the Hounslow LIFE workers and want to see Hestia come to the table to discuss the issues raised in the dispute with Unite the Union. You can contact Hestia using their online form or call their main reception on 020 7378 3100.
As well as reaching out to the councillor representing your ward, you can also contact the leader of the council, Councillor Shantanu Rajawat and/or the cabinet member for Adults and Health Integration, Councillor Samia Chaudhary.
DONATE TO THE STRIKE FUND
If you or your trade union branch are able to donate to the strike fund, please get in touch and we can share the details of how to do this.
KEY ISSUES THE WORKERS WANT ADDRESSED
Unmanageable caseloads have impacted on the mental health of workers and the quality and safety of the support delivered. They want a maximum of 15 clients per support worker.
Workers need an inflation proof pay rise that reflects the skill required for their work and is competitive enough to prevent further staff losses.
Trade union recognition
Unite the Union now represents the majority of the workforce at Hounslow LIFE, however, Hestia continues to refuse to recognise the union.
Hestia’s current procedure is unnecessarily complicated and has led to some losing thousands of pounds in unclaimed expenses.
Language skills compensated
Many workers speak multiple languages, including British Sign Language. This ensures the service can offer quality support to Hounslow’s diverse population. They are requesting that staff are compensated for this essential work.
TO FIND OUT MORE
More information can also be found on the Unite Housing Worker Branch website.
CaSWO! has been a bit quiet this past few months, but we hope to be revving up again soon for 2023. In the meantime, please get in touch if you want to find out more or have any questions.
CARE AND SUPPORT WORKERS ORGANISE!
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