Branch Secretary :

Rising anger of care workers in Hestia

Post pandemic exhaustion



Recognising the levels of rising anger and post pandemic exhaustion, Unite at Hestia recently decided to host a meeting for members and staff in general to address some of the most pressing concerns at the workplace. The meeting was a great success with 24 workers in attendance.




Bosses of the some of the biggest care organisations have expressed concern at a looming staffing crisis but actions of care employers do not match concerns. In Hestia and other care organisations workers are organising to fight back.



Desire to act



It was awful to hear some of the horror stories from different workplaces in Hestia. The situation for many of the workers is almost overwhelming. However, workers at the meeting expressed a real desire to act swiftly to push Hestia to make big changes at the workplace.


Some of the key issues that were discussed were:

  • Low staff levels due to high turnover 
  • Low pay
  • Poor training of staff by Hestia
  • Staff being overwhelmed with too much work especially work from colleagues that have left
  • Pressure and bullying from management to meet targets 



Strength in numbers



Workers clearly felt their strength in numbers and were inspired by the turnout. Some mentioned the unbearable workload, others the bullying, the lack of training which affects workers' confidence as well as the outcomes for service users. As a result staff turnover is high and recruitment is a constant problem leading to permanent gaps in provision and compounding the pressure on existing workers.




Members also voiced their frustration around the grievance process too. Hestia routinely draws out investigations and prolongs the grievance procedure in a deliberate attempt to wear workers down and deter them from using the process. One manager reported to Unite how Hestia had explicitly instructed them to delay grievances in a training session.



Not simply complain



This will come as no surprise to other workers in the sector who are facing similar problems. However, workers were not simply there to complain about their circumstances, they had decided to attend the meeting to draw up a list of demands around which they could fight on. Many of those present recognised that the only way to fight back effectively would be to place demands on the employer and back this up with effective trade union organizing. The emphasis was on the following:


  • Workers through the Trade Union agreeing safe amount of work for the staff at each services 
  • Adequate training for staff including proper face to face training 
  • Bullying managers to be held accountable by independent investigations
  • No more duplication of unnecessary paperwork


Time was scarce and participation levels were high so the reps decided to hold a follow up meeting which will take place this week. The main task at this meeting will be to focus on our next steps for putting pressure on Hestia. Workers want to draw up a clear plan for action which can help grow Unite Members influence within Hestia and in turn improve conditions in the workplaces. If Hestia fail to act on worker's concerns, then Unite will have no option other than to escalate the action.



The next meeting will be Wednesday the 13th of October at 7pm, for anyone that works in Hestia, not just Unite members. Please send this notice to as many of your colleagues as you can!


8 October 2021


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)
* field is required