Staff at Sefton begin strike

Social services staff at Sefton Council in Merseyside are to
begin a three-day strike on Monday in protest at the decision by
the authority to close care homes.

A one-day strike last month was later followed by a two-day
stoppage as union members protested at the authority’s closure

Sefton has already closed three care homes following a Best
Value review, and is involved in the consultation process over the
future of four more homes within the authority, which could close
due to cuts in the budget.

The authority has argued that the three homes originally closed
were under-subscribed. A spokesperson said: “We can provide an
extra 463 care packages a week from the money saved by transferring
services from these existing buildings.”

A Unison spokesperson said Sefton, and particularly the
Southport area, had high numbers of older people, and there would
not be sufficient provision to cater for local residents when they
needed to enter a care home.

The authority has argued that the previous strikes have not
attracted large numbers. It claims only 650 of the 1,800 social
services staff joined the one-day strike and that was down to 450
for the two-day stoppage.

But Unison points out many of the staff involved work shifts,
and were not on duty during the other days of industrial




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