Carers at a Jewish nursing and dementia home in north London are to go on a “protracted strike” after an unresolved dispute over pay led to industrial action.
Management at Sage nursing home on Golders Green Road are at loggerheads with the UVW union which has called for “an end to poverty wages, and parity with NHS sick pay and annual leave”.
The union said its demands for staff to be paid the Living Wage had not been met, leaving it “with no choice but to strike”, but Sage co-chair Stephen Goldberg said the charity “benchmarks its rates of pay against the care home sector and believes it is in line with comparable care homes”.
He added: “Like many in the care sector, Sage is battling with the consequences of Covid19: severe operational challenges, increased costs and the tragic loss of a third of its residents, and hence also a substantial loss of income.
“Against this background, a union has taken this opportunity to target us in a variety of ways and make a series of unrealistic demands which the charity cannot afford and which could, if implemented, lead to the closure of the care home.”
Goldberg said Sage management had agreed to a meeting with the union through the arbitration service ACAS last Friday but that UVW officials did not attend. Friday morning UVW advised ACAS that they would not be attending the meeting.
In February, Sage reported an increase in income from fees and voluntary contributions, from £3.2 million to £3.3 million, with £3.2 million held in reserves.
UVW rep Molly de Dios Fisher said trustees had “shown no desire to negotiate in good faith”, adding: “It is pretty rich for these billionaires to say there is no money to pay a living wage while in the same breath they’re hiring a union busting legal consultant with a going rate of £354 per hour.” All trustees are volunteers.
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