OSJCT derecognition battle reaches final stages

Councillors back UNISON against Order of St John Care Trust as de-recognition battle reaches final stages

UNISON’s fight to stop the Order of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) from kicking it out of Gloucestershire care homes has been boosted by the support of councillors across the county.

Despite campaigning by care staff in Gloucestershire, OSJCT has so far ignored calls to halt its efforts to de-recognise UNISON until after conciliation talks with ACAS at the end of April.

A cross-party group of councillors from several local authorities have condemned the move, stating “deep concerns”, “this is really worrying”, “the reason for derecognition does not strike me as a valid one”, and “the action by Order of St John is utterly wrong”.

Kate Haigh, leader of the Gloucester City Council Labour Group, tweeted at OSJCT “why won’t you recognise UNISON in your care homes #wewantaunion”.

OSJCT wants to replace the union’s elected representatives with an “employee forum”, but UNISON has expressed doubts about the independence of any such company-run group.

Jayne Jackson, UNISON South West Regional Organiser, said:

“Our members are disappointed that their employer has taken such action and we fail to understand why it is necessary. The hard-working care staff who keep OSJCT going clearly want to be represented by UNISON. It’s disrespectful of management to plough on and deny workers a voice”.

“Vulnerable people depend on care services and it is good to see councillors recognising that staff supported by a strong union are better for patients”

“UNISON is calling on the public to write to their councillors and to the managers of local care homes asking them to support the care home staff – or tweet to @OSJCT using the #wewantaunion hashtag!”