GMB Welcomes Announcement To Bring Forward Home Care Testing Roll-out – But Warns Any Failure Will Be Met With Action
GMB has this afternoon (Friday 15 January) warned the Scottish Government and local authority health and social care partnership (HSCPs) that any failures in the roll-out of COVID-19 workplace testing for home care workers “will be met with collective action”.
Following the threat of a full industrial action ballot by GMB members in Glasgow HSCP, Scotland’s biggest home care service, Cabinet Secretary Jeane Freeman confirmed at today’s press briefing that testing for all home care workers will be brought forward from March to Monday 18 January.
And after meetings between GMB, Scottish Government and COSLA representatives this morning, where assurances were given on the delivery of testing kits and support measures, the union has agreed to suspend next week’s scheduled industrial action ballot in Glasgow HSCP.
Rhea Wolfson of GMB Scotland Women’s Campaigns Unit said: “It’s a significant step forward for the safety of home care workers across Scotland in the fight against COVID-19 – our members have fought hard for this.
“But the Scottish Government and local authority employers have done more in a week than they have for ten months on testing for home carers, and neither should be congratulating themselves here.
“People should be asking why it’s taken nearly a year of struggle, and in the case of Glasgow HSCP to the brink of a strike ballot, for a workforce of predominantly low-paid women to get COVID-19 testing at work?
“GMB called for a national plan for social care last March, we called for testing, but the First Minister told us that Scotland was prepared for COVID-19. We know now the country wasn’t prepared and what we got was negligence while home carers struggled with only PPE for safety.
“The Scottish Government and HSCPs across Scotland should be well-aware that we will be carefully monitoring the roll-out of testing for our members and any failure to protect their safety and rights will be met with collective action.”
Contact: Rhea Wolfson GMB Scotland Women’s Campaign Unit on 07850575023 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.
Notes to Editors:
GMB Scotland’s Letter of March 19th 2020 to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, ‘Social Care Planning and Social Care Labour Force’, can be viewed at: https://tinyurl.com/r79w7xc