People Before Profit Cllr Shaun Harkin said
“It is a scandal that front line workers in many private care homes don’t receive sick pay from their employer. They are being punished for putting themselves on the front line. Workers have every right to take action now to demand full sick pay.
The hostility of many private home owners to trade union representation has been based on denying workers a voice at work and to lower wages, terms and conditions. This is straightforward exploitation.
The Covid-19 crisis has made it clear how the privatisation of nursing care has failed residents, families, workers and our communities.
Privatisation of nursing care must end. All care homes should be brought back under the authority of the health service. Workers in care homes have every right to receive the same pay, terms and conditions, as a basic minimum, as workers in the health service. Obstruction to trade union representation must end.
The Covid-19 crisis in care homes – from Covid-19 deaths, the lack of of PPE, staffing shortages and sick pay – has been created by parties in Westminster and Stormont who have weakened oversight and accountability to encourage profiteering at the expense of workers and residents.
People Before Profit will continue to stand in full solidarity with the front line workers in all care homes.”