Branch Secretary : info@housingworkers.org.uk
  

Successful Support not Deport meeting

Cooperation with the Home Office

 

Our branch hosted a good meeting last week on the Support not Deport campaign. This meeting brought together Unite, Unison and IWGB members. The Public Interest law centre and a range of homeless campaign groups including Streets Kitchen and Homes For all.  We discussed the legal changes that threaten rough sleepers with deportation.

 

Last year we launched a Support not Deport charter that we encourage organisations to sign up to.

 

This is an issue our branch has been campaigning on ever since the original Corporate Watch report in 2017 that exposed Mungo's co-operation with the home office. Our reps have repeatedly brought this issue to management at JNC's to hold management to account.

 

Whitewash

 

Our branch is well aware that the Mungo's internal report that absolved senior managers of responsibility was a whitewash. We have also raised the question that even taken on its own grounds this is a cause for worry and concern. Why did individual staff not feel comfortable reporting wrong-doing? Is it perhaps due to the institutionalised culture of bullying which our members are now taking strike action against?

 

The meeting also raised the point that it was not only Mungo's who were involved. Individual local authorities (esp. Westminster, Camden and Southwark) also played a significant role in working with the home office to target homeless migrants, as did other homeless organisations such as Thamesreach. 

 

Makes outreach work more difficult

 

A number of contributions at the meeting pointed out that not only are the new rules morally wrong, they will not reduce homelessness and make outreach harder. It is not uncommon in the sector to meet undocumented migrants who have not had settled accommodation for years and have avoided services for fear of deportation. Rules such as this drive these clients away from services onto the street and can lead to increased suspicion and antagonism towards services viewed as working with the home office.

 

A number of workers from homelessness organisations were present and raised the idea of pushing our Support not Deport charter to get homeless organisations to commit to not facilitating deportations. As well as promoting this in homeless organisations the charter has been gaining traction in local authority Unison branches. The charter has already been agreed in Haringey Unison and committing local authorities to non-compliance would render the new rule impossible to implement. Through a combination of promoting the charter and organising public demonstrations against local authorities working with the home office.

 

The campaign agreed to convene again on 3rd June to look at progress in promoting the charter in each workplace and to map out how data is captured and recorded across the sector. If you would like to be involved, please get in touch by emailing info@housingworkers.org.uk

 

Jack Jeffery Unite housing workers secretary.

POST A COMMENT!

Before Posting

We welcome debate and discussion on our website, but we also want an open, respectful, inclusive space in which forms of abuse or personal attack will not be tolerated. Comments will be moderated and will be removed if they are found to be unduly offensive. You should also be very careful in posting information about your employer. Employers do visit the website and if you think a comment could get you into trouble for releasing confidential or sensitive information, or for bringing the employer into disrepute, please do not post it. It remains your individual responsibility to ensure that what you post is appropriate. Please therefore just give a moment's thought to what you are saying. The types of comments that are likely to be moderated are:


  • Personal abuse or attacks on an individual.
  • Information which breaches another person's right to confidentiality.
  • The use of offensive language, including swear words, or language which is racist, sexist, or otherwise breaches equalities standards.
  • Anything that might place the Branch or the wider union in legal jeopardy.
  • Adverts or information which is posted for commercial gain.

* Name
* Email (will not be published)
Website
Comment
* field is required