Staff at Edinburgh care home to be balloted on possible strike action to stop closure
Staff at an Edinburgh care home are to be balloted on possible strike action in a bid to save it from closure.
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Unison said it was consulting its members who work at Drumbrae care home on the potential industrial action as part of its campaign against proposals to shut five council-owned homes across the city.
Four of the care homes – Clovenstone, Ferrylee, Ford’s Road and Jewel House – would close completely under the planned shake-up, while Drumbrae would cease to be a care home and be switched to the NHS to become a base for medical complex care.
The Edinburgh Integration Joint Board, which oversees health and social care in the city, is due to launch a public consultation on the closures, but Unison is angry that Drumbrae is being excluded from that process and is calling on the city council to ensure the consultation covers all five homes.
Branch secretary Tom Connolly said: “People need to come before profits which is why it is vital these care homes remain in public hands. Unison understands there is a substantial waiting list for care homes in the area and if the need hasn’t gone away then why should the services?
“Holding a consultative ballot of our members is the last thing we want to do, but our members are worried for the future of the vulnerable people who rely on them. These people deserve better than this – and so do the people who care for them.”
And Unison regional organiser Greig Kelbie added: “Unison is against closing public sector-run care homes and handing them over to the private sector, which under the current proposals is definitely what would happen here. The public have the right to be fully consulted on these plans and it is vital that all five care homes are included in the consultation.”
A deputation from Unison was attending today’s full council meeting to make the case for a full public consultation of all five care homes.
The Labour group, part of the city’s coalition administration, has said it will not support the care home closures.