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Cordia Homecare staff say ‘gimme shelter’ during our breaks!

Cordia, an arm’s length company of Glasgow City Council last year introduced a series of new shifts which led to staff working a split shift system, some staff working the split shift found they had 1 and a half hours break in the morning and in some cases having an unpaid half hour break during evening shift.   This means that staff who don’t work near where they live have often nowhere to access when they have breaks.

UNISON members and other homecare staff have complained of being forced to use Supermarket car parks, Bus Stops and Closes to have breaks.  UNISON members and other homecare staff have complained that they have no toileting facilities or access to clean drinking water, in winter many are forced to have breaks outside in bad weather or to spend money in cafes or transport costs.

“I walk about shops or sit in closes, stay too far to go home” Home Carer Cardonald

“Nowhere to go mornings or night if wet I stand at the bottom of multi storey flats” Home Carer Royston

“Have to purchase a bus pass due to new split shift system costing £39 as this allows me to go home for toilet hot drink”  Home Carer  Tollcross

“The nearest  place l can go is the supermarket but our line managers do not want us going there. It’s the nearest place to my area where l can have use of a toilet, my break is in the evening between 7pm and 8 pm so it’s in the dark and in this weather not ideal” Home Carer Maryhill

“No cafes or shops that sell hot food are open so I am standing about in the cold and dark nights for that half hour” Home Carer Maryhill

“Have to stand in a Bus Stop.  In the dark very frightening & vulnerable” Home Carer Govan

“Cordia could do more and provide facilities for me to take my break especially in winter when it’s cold and wet” Home Carer

“On breaks l either go to local chip shop for food drink and heat or wander the streets” Home Carer Gorbals

Following these reports from our members that some Home Carers working for Cordia have no facilities to rest, eat and drink on break. Glasgow City UNISON branch surveyed our homecare members to see how widespread this was.  Here are our findings;

·        85 % of respondents were UNISON members

·        95 % of respondents don’t have access to a clean toilet

·        97% of respondents don’t have access to clean drinking water

·        97% don’t have access to a warm room with a seat to have their break in

·        97% don’t have access to facilities to prepare hot foot and a hot drink

·        87 respondents & 33 areas of Glasgow identified

 

  Sam Macartney, UNISON Branch Officer, said:

“This is a Health and Safety at work issue, BUT it’s also about dignity at work, these staff provide an essential service for vulnerable people in our communities and deserve to be treated with respect.   A toilet, drinking water and a warm place to sit and eat on breaks is not unreasonable.   UNISON has written to Andy Clark acting Chief Executive of Cordia to ask for a response to these findings and to seek a  commitment from Cordia management to work together with us to solve the problems that have been identified by UNISON’s survey.”

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