Standoff between Jewish nursing home and its staff, as strike looms

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Standoff between Jewish nursing home and its staff, as strike looms

Co-chair of Sage says it has 'contingency plans to ensure it will cause no major disruption', as trainee rabbi says the situation is cause for 'absolute disgrace and moral outrage'

Nurse holding elderly person's hand
Nurse holding elderly person's hand

There was a standoff between management and some staff at a Jewish nursing home on Golders Green Road this week, as union officials gave notice of a three-day strike next week.

Staff at the Sage Nursing Home, where 21 residents died of coronavirus last year, have been seeking the London Living Wage, without success. Now, months of wrangling are coming to a head, as managers get staff and residents vaccinated against Covid-19.

Adrian Jacobs, co-chair of the home, said the United Voices of the World Union had notified the management of intended strike action scheduled for 15-17 January involving 28 workers out of a total workforce of approximately 100 staff.

“We have full contingency plans ready to ensure that it will cause no major disruption to the safe running of Sage,” he said.

The strike gathered further attention this week after Trainee Rabbi Lev Taylor gave a sermon in Edgware in support of the industrial action, prompting other Reform rabbis to come out in favour of staff, who have borne the brunt of the pandemic.

“Care for the elderly must have been one of the hardest jobs to do this year,” said Taylor. “It should be a cause for absolute disgrace, for moral outrage, that a care home within the Jewish community should be spotlighted for its abhorrent treatment of elderly care workers.”

Lev Taylor

Taylor added that “these domestic and maintenance staff are paid well below the London Living Wage, denied fully paid time off if they are sick, and their grievances have been brushed aside and ignored”.

Last month Sage co-chair Stephen Goldberg said the home “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.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: