07.12.2022 / Press releases /

“We are going to fight again, for what is right.” Care home workers set to strike in the new year due to Cost of Living crisis

  • UVW members at a care home in North London are set to vote for strike action with strike dates to be called in January 2023.
  • This is a second strike ballot in under two years, the first saw UVW members at Sage Nursing home take to the streets under lockdown and win a 37% pay rise.
  • The demands include £14 per hour, an NHS sick pay scheme, a paid one-hour lunch break, and enhanced weekend and night shift rates.

Today, UVW members at Sage Nursing home in North London have instructed their union to inform Trustees – one of whom is a billionaire – that they will be voting over Christmas to take strike action.

The laundry, domestic, maintenance and care workers demands for £14 per hour, a sick pay scheme in line with NHS rates, amongst other improved conditions have not been addressed. The deadline given to the Trustees has been extended and still not met.

Despite these “pandemic heroes” winning a huge strike victory in December 2021 after a protracted 18-month-long dispute over poverty wages and lack of PPE, the worst cost of living crisis in a generation has turned their whopping 37% pay rise into a pay cut.

Lamin Conteh, Sage care worker, and UVW member, said: “We’d like to be recognised for the job we do. This includes being paid a decent wage, that our employer builds capacity in the workplace and that it takes care of us when we are sick.”   

Noemi Cuenca Ordóñez,  Sage laundry worker and UVW member, said: “I’ve worked at Sage for almost 10 years and I love the job I do, but it feels like loyalty means nothing here. We need more changes in Sage not just for us but for the benefit of the people we look after, and with the support of our union we will get them. We deserve better. Dignity, equality and respect are the most important values at work.”

Bile Jean Ahouzan, Sage senior care worker and UVW member, said: “Being a care worker is an intimate role, it means you develop a close relationship with the people you support. When someone I care for says “Thank you” or tells me they will look forward to seeing me next time I feel this lovely and unique inner glow which  stays with me and gives me wisdom everyday. Our job is physical, psychological, and social, and we bring a unique service, so we demand that they respect us and value us as we deserve; better wages, better working conditions and environment, and a halt to what feels like an arbitrary use of power. We are not a black bin bag that they discard after use.“

Julia Veros, Sage care worker and UVW member, said: “To be a careworker one has to be caring, patient and have empathy – I love to make people feel better – but at Sage, those values do not seem to be consistently extended to the treatment of the staff. We want to have a say in our rotas because we know the needs of our residents and their families, what works and what doesn’t. But at present decisions are taken without any consultation or assessment of the impact on all of us. So we’ve had enough and we are going to fight, again, for what is right.”

Petros Elia, General secretary of UVW, said: “Sage Trustees could easily ensure that strike action was avoided and that a negotiated settlement was reached instead. But their approach to this dispute has left our members with no choice, and despite strike action in the care sector being incredibly rare, our members are determined to fight against deteriorating pay and working conditions due rampant inflation, staff shortages and the effects of the NHS social care crisis. I call upon Sage Trustees to sit down and talk with our reps. If they don’t then we will back our members in whatever it takes including an all out indefinite strike, which we know will be hugely supported across the community and trade union movement. Sage: the ball is in your court.”

For further information contact the UVW comms team.

Isabel: 07706 987443

Cristina: 07548 759340  


Notes for editors

United Voices of the World is an anti-racist, member-led, direct action, campaigning trade union and we exist to support and empower the most vulnerable groups of precarious, low-paid and predominantly BAME and migrant workers in the UK. We fight the bosses through direct action on the streets and through the courts and demand that all members receive at least the London Living Wage, full pay, sick pay, dignity, equality and respect.

Previous UVW press releases about the Sage Nursing home: 

Settlement reached in North london care home dispute

Care home  strike leader wins trade union victimisation claim

Huge win for pandemic heroes as billionaire trustees capitulate at North london care home 

Sage Nursing Home workers to strike for dignity in care for all


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