Unite media release

For immediate release Monday 7 November 2022

Unrealistic workloads force Community support workers in Hounslow to hold strike vote

Workers employed by Hestia, a referral service which provides adult services in Hounslow in London, have begun a ballot for industrial action.

A number of workers who are Unite members provide support for people ranging from mental health support, addiction, immigration and language barrier support.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “Hestia management are refusing to negotiate with Unite to address the understaffing and low pay. The workers are left with one option and that is industrial action. We hope management quickly comes to its senses and negotiates.”

Staff say the charity is imposing unrealistic changes in working practices which will make it near impossible to provide the important services that at risk Hounslow residents desperately need. This is despite the referral service receiving an increase in funding from the local authority. Hestia management are refusing to negotiate with Unite and to address the understaffing,

Unite regional officer, Steve O’Donnell said: “Our members do crucial work for the community in Hounslow. The Charity has received extra funding but none of it is going to ease strained workloads. Workers are struggling to make ends meet and Hestia cannot recruit or retain enough staff. This means excessive workloads continue to increase for a few workers that do remain with the service. So the workers have been left with no choice but to ballot for strike action. Management must address these problems urgently.

ENDS

Notes to editors: 

For more information please contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315 

Email: Ci[email protected]

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Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.