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Date: Tue 11 0ct 2005

New Deal demand for Home Carers in Scotland

UNISON stewards representing Scotland's around 10,000 (WTE) Home Care staff will tomorrow launch a nine-point charter aimed at improving their jobs.

The meeting - at 11.00am in UNISON's Glasgow City branch Office, 18, Albion Street, Glasgow - is one of a number taking place around the UK, and will launch the charter.

The demands will then be raised with individual local councils and other employers and with CoSLA, with the aim of negotiating improved conditions and resources for the Home Care service and those who provide it.

The Glasgow meeting will be addressed by Michelle Brankin from UNISON's National Executive Council, and the Scottish representative on UNISON's National Home Care Forum. She is herself a Home Carer and has been instrumental in pursuing the demands within UNISON.

Michelle Brankin will say, "This is the beginning of a new era for home carers. They are only now beginning in some areas to be paid the true value of the work they do, as trade unions negotiate and promote equal pay for work of equal value. Now the major union in Scotland's local government is backing that up with a nine-point charter covering what needs to be delivered if home carers are to be properly trained, resourced and treated, and the essential service they provide delivered safely and efficiently."

UNISON has surveyed its branches on the changing nature of the home carers job, and it is clear that all branches who replied have had home carers reviewed over the last five years, and their jobs have been increased in complexity and responsibility - particularly with the addition of increased personal care.

"The Charter recognises the changing nature of the job." Said Michelle. "And calls for these changes to be recognised and resourced. It also suggests that the important role that home carers have as the 'eyes and ears' of the social work service - flagging up problems at an early stage - must be better recognised, and that the risks of people working on their own - often at night without a mobile phone - in the community, need to be fully assessed to protect them properly."

The charter contains a number of other demands covering training, pay, working time, and recognition in some sectors.


For Further Information Please Contact: Stephen Smellie (Chair - Social Work Issues Group) 07740 096 864(m) Michelle Brankin (UNISON NEC) 07764 975 723(m)