Posted on 7/12/2017 by David Burgess
THE spotlight was put on the working conditions of employees in the social care sector.
Bury councillors approved a Labour motion to improve social care services and jobs by adopting two trade union charters.
The motion to adopt the UNISON Ethical and Residential Care Charters was put forward by Cllr Jane Black who said: "It's to do something about working conditions that people in the 21st century shouldn't have to accept."
Cllr Black told the chamber on Wednesday evening that Cheshire West and Manchester City Council had already adopted the charter and Trafford Council was debating it too.
Both charters are about balancing employee conditions with the needs of social care clients.
They include commitments to pay the Living Wage as per the Living Wage Foundation, to not use zero hours contracts and encourage union membership.
Cllr Black highlighted the importance of allowing and encouraging social care workers to join a union to help them improve their working conditions.
Cllr James Daly, leader of the Conservative opposition, said: "I wonder what you have all been reading, that Momentum are coming over the hills to come and get you?
"'What do I need to do to show these Momentum people?
"'I know, lets get out the Labour handbook, 'How to be a Marxist in 10 easy steps by Jeremy Corbyn'."
Cllr Daly accused the Labour councillors of hating private enterprise and pandering to their union 'pay masters'.
He argued the council should be supporting small businesses in the borough adding that aside from the 'party political stuff' it was a sensible motion.
Cllr Daly said: "We support any charter that will help deliver the best service to our borough."
Cllr Noel Bayley reprimanded Cllr Daly for his comic argument and called him a 'disgrace' after saying had the people of Bolton North East voted differently this year he wouldn't be on the council.
Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Tim Pickstone questioned Cllr Black about the council's use of 15-minute appointments by social workers and UNISON's criticism of the practice.
Cllr Black said that was something that would be looked at.
The motion was voted through by councillors with the Conservative members abstaining from voting.