Elderly Social Care and Migrant Workers

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2012 National Retired Members Conference
31 May 2012

Conference notes that the Million Voices Campaign asserts the common interest of public service workers and service users to defend public services and to ensure their quality and effective delivery. In elder/social care, care workers stand alongside care-users and their relatives as guardians of a safe and effective service.

Campaigns against the neglect and ill treatment of older people in care settings and campaigns to protect the service from cuts and privatisation must see the workforce as an ally. Attacks on pay and conditions are bound to affect quality of care, put service users at risk and increase the burden on families.

Conference notes that the above is already and widely recognised. Conference welcomes the approach of the National Pensioners Convention Fair Care Campaign which includes calls for better staff training and conditions of service alongside other demands for the protection of older people. Conference also notes UNISON’s support for this Campaign on a similar basis.

Conference considers however that a generally neglected aspect of any campaigns is the specific concerns of migrant workers who are employed in large numbers in social care. Conference will recall the successful campaign, with the support of UNISON, to protect 20,000 care workers from deportation but which, with regret, did not lead to continuing links between campaigns on care issues and migrant worker issues.

Conference instructs the National Retired Members Committee and calls upon the NEC to:

1 Seek contact with organised groups of migrant workers in social care both in UNISON and in appropriate migrant worker organisations such as Kanlungan Alliance of Filipino Organisations

2 Seek their support for campaigns like Fair Care, to enable them to play a role in such campaigns and find a voice there and

3 seek to ensure such campaigns in the course of supporting staff on issues like training and pay also have due regard to the concerns of migrant workers.