Plans to change home care shift patterns dropped by Birmingham City Council

Plans to change working patterns for Birmingham City Council home care workers have been dropped.

The proposed shift alterations would have seen nearly 300 care staff working part-time hours.

After a dispute lasting nearly two-years, union Unison called it a ‘momentous victory’ for its members, some of who could have lost up to £11,000 a year, it said.

The dispute began in July 2017 when councillors announced plans to make around £2 million of savings by cutting hours of care staff working for its enablement service.

In July last year, the council withdrew a proposal for staff to work triple split-shifts and replaced it with a proposition for about 280 staff to go part-time.

Now, the plans have been shelved in favour of a new scheme involving Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group .

Cllr Paulette Hamilton, cabinet member for health and social care, confirmed the changes were now ‘no longer required’.

She said: ” There are plans to commission a new integrated community team to improve outcomes for older people.”

“This will mean that there will be no contractual changes for staff, and therefore no compulsory redundancies or reductions in working hours – two of the primary objectives that Unison has sought through the dispute over the past year”.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis (pictured) said: “It’s a vindication for these incredible care workers.

“For well over a year they’ve fought against plans which put their jobs at risk and threatened massive pay cuts these low-paid workers could ill-afford.

“It’s been an incredibly difficult time for them. They’ve repeatedly taken strike action, not because they wanted to, but because they knew they had to.

“From the outset our whole union has stood with these care workers because their fight matters to all of us – as it matters to the communities these care workers serve. They have earned their right to celebrate a momentous victory.”

The council is expected to formally drop proposals at a cabinet meeting on 22 May.

Picture (c) Anthony Devlin / PA Wire.

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