Monday, 22 October 2018

Glasgow - Strike News

The Herald has published the same ridiculous scare story which appeared in the Evening Times at the weekend alleging that a 90-year-old woman is likely to become the first 'victim' of Glasgow's historic equal pay strike.

Now this article is nonsense because it suggests that care staff, for some unexplained reason, are trying to prevent a client's family from accessing their 'medication' box.

Which is a contemptible lie, of course.  

If family members are in a position to help out during the strike, then that's great.

My mother had home care support for years and, just like this family, I would have stepped up in similar circumstances.

I knew all about my mother's medication and the care staff were never anything less than professional, friendly and helpful.

If some clients can't rely on family support, they should be on the ‘life and limb’ cover list which the Council has had weeks to prepare and organise.

Family of Glasgow pensioner fears as care services withdrawn during strike

By Evening Times Online

Glasgow City Council has sent letters to those affected.

The family of a vulnerable 90-year-old woman fears lives will be put at risk due to care services being withdrawn during a planned strike.

Glasgow City Council has sent letters to those affected informing them their care will be withdrawn for two days next week as around 8,000 workers walk out in an equal pay row.

The letter states: "The strike action is definitely taking place and unfortunately we have been unable to secure sufficient homecare staff to provide the cover we expected to."

It asks recipients to make alternative arrangements with family, carers or friends if possible, apologises for the disruption and warns there will be no response to calls or emails regarding homecare arrangements during the strike on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Read more: Life and limb cover for home care withdrawn during equal pay strike

The family of one woman who received the letter said they fear lives will be put at risk as people may not be able to access medication.

Amy Coid, 90, is recently out of hospital and normally receives four care visits a day as she is blind in one eye and suffers from slight confusion, so is given meals and help to dress and get to bed.

She is not allowed to deal with her own medication which is kept in her house in a padlocked box to which only her carers have the combination.

Her family is now trying to get the code for this so they can give her the 14 tablets a day she needs but are worried for others who will be left without care.

A relative said: "It looks like lives of many old people will be put at risk as they will not receive their medication.

"We are fortunate and will be able to make two 30 mile round trips each day to give her meds in morning and night.

"But how will confused elderly people with no relatives, neighbours or friends cope? Some will be on meds without which they might become seriously ill or worse.

Read more: Life and limb cover for home care withdrawn during equal pay strike

"Some might not even understand the letter or not be able to do anything about it."

He added: "I wonder how many lives may be at risk as a result and the council seems to be washing their hands of the potential deadly consequences for these vulnerable people who live alone."

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said the way the union leaders had approached the strike was "hugely disappointing".

He said: "We believed we had an agreement on providing life and limb cover for our most vulnerable citizens - indeed, the unions told the public that cover would be in place. It won't.

"There has been absolutely no meaningful effort from the unions to work with us and their membership to ensure that life and limb cover will be in place.

"As a result, we are writing urgently to many of the most vulnerable people in the city to tell them that we now have no way to provide them care they desperately need during the strike.

"Rather than the reduced service we expected to be able to deliver with support from the trade unions, for many more people, there will now be no service at all. We are deeply concerned about the impact but we have absolutely no alternative."

Around 6,000 people have homecare services affected.

The unions have agreed to all council requests to support the life and limb plan, the GMB union said, adding the offer from union members to work through the strike to support vulnerable homecare users still stands.

Read more: Life and limb cover for home care withdrawn during equal pay strike

Rhea Wolfson, GMB Scotland organiser, said its members would never do anything to cause harm to homecare clients.

"Glasgow City Council management is in meltdown," she said.

"It has misrepresented the offer our members have made to keep services running for our most vulnerable clients."

She added: "The council's officers have been incapable of putting in place the most basic cover despite having three weeks to prepare and the offers we have made every single day to resolve the dispute."