Campaign Bulletin #2: Care Workers vs COVID-19: Support Us to Stop the Spread

Last week, UNISON North West launched our Care Workers vs COVID-19 Campaign. In just over a week, our care worker survey has been completed by over 2,500 care workers.

The results paint a grim picture of social care during the COVID-19 outbreak. There is a chronic lack of PPE, workers fear having to live off £94 per week if they are forced onto SSP through illness or self-isolation, and many care workers see over 15 service-users a day and are worried about spreading COVID-19 to the vulnerable people they care for.

Unless there is serious intervention, the social care system risks collapse.

In response to this, we have launched a public petition calling on local authorities to adopt our campaign demands and ensure minimum standards and protection for care workers. So far, over 1,500 people have signed the survey.

We have also written to all the Councils in the North West that commission social care services asking them to commit to and enforce the campaign demands. We are delighted that Halton Council has become the first local authority to sign up to the Care Workers vs COVID-19 Campaign pledges. While Salford Council has also committed to ensuring that no social care worker is out of pocket if they become ill or need to self-isolate because of COVID-19. These are huge victories for one of the most exploited workforces in the public sector.

If we are going to achieve real change, however, we need branches and workers to drive the campaign forward.

How can branches support the campaign?

Sign the Petition and Send it to Members – If you haven’t already, please make sure you’ve signed the petition. Please also circulate to members and include in any branch communications, such as newsletters, and on social media: https://action.unison.org.uk/page/58242/petition/1

Ask Your Council to Sign the Campaign Pledge – If your Council commissions social care services, please ask them to sign the Care Workers vs COVID-19 Campaign Pledge. If you need any support raising it with your Council, please discuss with your Regional Organiser or contact Dan Smith (d.smith3@unison.co.uk) who is collating responses

Please keep an eye on the Campaign Page for updates.

Thank you for your support and solidarity.

Dan Smith

Regional Organiser

UNISON NW Social Care Lead