Strikes by care workers at the Sage care home in north London have won significant pay increases.
From 1 December, care workers, domestic, and maintenance staff will receive a pay increase to £10.85 an hour. This represents a minimum pay increase of 11%. All other staff will receive a pay rise of 5%.
The dispute at the care home began in March 2020, and has seen workers, who are members of the United Voices of the World union (UVW) strike several times, most recently in October 2021. Trustees of the care home include property magnate Benzion Freshwater, who has a net worth of over £2 billion. Freshwater is also a prominent philanthropist, donating to charities whose aims include “the alleviation of poverty”, but until now had opposed workers’ pay demands.
Care worker Julia said: “We held picket lines, distributed thousands of leaflets to the local community; 70,000 people signed our petitions; members of Parliament signed an early day motion. We delivered this win, but the battle is not over. We are clear we must keep fighting to get what we want and what we — and the residents — deserve.”
Care worker Bile, who is also a member of UVW’s Executive Committee, said: ““We went above and beyond to stand for what we deserve. We know that none of us acting alone can achieve success and we understand that there is still a way to go. We need to correct the legacy of past injustice and insist upon the will to change. Let there be work, bread, water, and water for all!”
Workers have vowed to continue fighting for other demands, including full occupational sick pay, and greater parity with NHS workers’ terms and conditions.