Thursday, 11 November 2010

Care home workers in Nottinghamshire sign up for union recognition

A group of care home workers in Nottinghamshire have cleared the first hurdle of a campaign to have their pay and conditions negotiated by the GMB union.
Under the union recognition laws introduced by Labour in 2000 the GMB had to prove it was likely to win the support of more than half the staff.
The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) - the quango responsible - said the test had been passed in the union's bid to organise staff at the Loxley Lodge Care Home, School Street, Kirkby in Ashfield.
The union submitted evidence that it had eight members out of the 20 workers the employer said were in the proposed bargaining unit. And 12 people signed a petition in support of being represented by the GMB.
The workers who would be represented are hourly-paid care workers and domestics.
The employer - Leyton Healthcare - initially claimed to the CAC that some of the staff who had supported the union "did not realise what they had signed up for".
Now the application for recognition has been accepted by the CAC there will be an opportunity for the union and the employer to conclude a voluntary agreement.
If they cannot the CAC panel will convene again to adjudicate on any disagreements.
A detailed report is on the CAC website.
The GMB - formerly the General, Municiple, Boilermakers and Allied Trade Union - is to be applauded for its efforts to organise vulnerable and low paid workers.
As reported on The Workers United last month the GMB is also campaigning for recognition at a small plant hire firm in south Wales.
It is vital that - while the Labour movement is concentrating on defending jobs and services from cuts - unions keep putting resources into offensive work.

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