Today (Wednesday, 19th November 2014) Camden Council was the third local authority in London and ninth nationally to sign up formally to UNISON’s ‘Ethical Care Charter’. The charter is hardly a panacea for the reality of chronically low pay and poor conditions for homecare workers, but Camden UNISON welcomes the Council’s public commitment to the charter.
We hope that its adoption marks a significant first step towards halting the ‘race to the bottom’ for care workers’ pay, terms and conditions of employment that has gone in tandem with the almost universal transfer of homecare provision for older and/or disabled people to the private sector. We shall be watching closely what happens in terms of the local implementation of the UNISON charter at the same time as seeking to build trade union membership and organisation among workers on outsourced contracts in this sector.
Meanwhile, Camden UNISON maintains that the provision of homecare should be run directly by accountable public sector bodies with the workforce in the public sector as the best guarantee of humane quality care for vulnerable people.