Announcement Breaking

Tonight: help defend 93 ‘Covid heroes’ facing sack by Barnet council

A protest is taking place this evening at Hendon Town Hall with a parallel online rally, to defend the jobs of ninety-three workers at Apthorp care home.

Last month, care staff working at Apthorp residential and day care service were told that Barnet Council had made the decision to close the facility, hitting 93 staff as well as the vulnerable older people for whom the home provides services. Apthorp was originally owned by Barnet Council until it was sold off with 10 other Council residential homes and day services to Catalyst Housing who contracted Fremantle Trust to take over the Council care workforce.

The current Apthorp buildings were part of a deal which meant Catalyst Housing were given all 11 real estate locations to develop for themselves and in return they would provide modern state of the art residential and day care services on four of the sites.

Only three were built.

A letter from their employer told staff that:

the Council and Your Choice Barnet have taken the decision to vacate Apthorp Care Home by 31 October 2021. You will be aware that we have been carrying out some fire safety works in the building. Whilst all emergency works have been carried out, further surveys have taken place which highlight that significant levels of repairs are needed. The scope of works required in Apthorp Care Centre are extensive and would be extremely disruptive to residents of the home.

At the meeting some staff responded to this devastating news by claiming that moving vulnerable residents from Apthorp to another home at this time will result in ‘blood on someone’s hands‘ because many residents wouldn’t react well to the move.

The dangers of moving vulnerable and elderly residents out of their homes have been well documented, but Barnet Unison says that what is particularly worrying about this plan is that Barnet Council are attempting to fast-track the move of residents in less than two months which does not provide adequate time to prepare and support vulnerable residents.

Barnet Unison branch secretary John Burgess said of the decision:

Two decades to run down a service, wasted millions of public monies and now 93 Covid heroes are to be sacked.  

The world is upside down, seriously it is less than 12 months since our members were trying to care for vulnerable residents struggling to deal with Covid. There was no vaccine back then and the lack of PPE was an issue for members who were risking their own lives and those of their own family every day they went into work.

I won’t forget the fear in the voices of care workers as Covid was letting rip across Care homes. I can never begin to understand the terror our members were going through every day and all for the magnificent sum of £8.72 per hour! So here we are now August 2021 and our members have been told their workplace is closing, through no fault of their own.

Barnet UNISON will be supporting every single one of our members at this time we will also be seeking to find out who made this decision and why, this is not over. Keep watching this space…”

Unison branch chair Helen Davies added:

The workers at the care home and day centre will have their lives thrown up in the air some few months after banners at the care home proclaimed them as heroes for how they dealt with the pandemic. There has been absolutely NO engagement with staff, residents, their families or the trade unions at any point to consider how Apthorp could be made viable. The cornerstone of activism for people with disabilities – nothing about us without us – has been utterly and completely ignored.

The elderly and the workforce are ignored and presumably they are just furniture to be moved around as The Great and The Good see fit. They are not worthy of any consideration. They have received no apology for this shocking turn of affairs.

The lobby starts at 6pm outside Hendon Town Hall, finishing by 7 pm. If you’re unable to make it to Hendon, you can join the Save Apthorp care home lobby on Zoom from 5.45pm via Meeting ID: 882 3024 6920
Passcode: 894775

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  1. The current Apthorp buildings were part of a deal which meant Catalyst Housing were given all 11 real estate locations to develop for themselves and in return they would provide modern state of the art residential and day care services on four of the sites.

    Only three were built.

    Why are there no penalty clauses when assets are sold off/given away on the proviso that something is given in return?

    If no return is forthcoming these carpetbaggers should have the assets confiscated and returned to the council(s)

    1. Absolutely correct. this is a disgrace. I’d like to see the care plan for the people being looked after that justifies the staffing reduction, especially with current labour shortages, no doubt a very imaginative document! With the current property boom Catalyst will have made vast windfall profits no doubt well hidden, with partnership, consultancy, pension scheme arrangements etc. Do they have any former councillors/council officers helping them?

      1. Plain citizen….Just how many can you take up there,theyre loading up the bus now for Bolton stoke Burnley and Rochdale….every ones a winner in Barnet except the victims of greed and corruption.

  2. I lived half of my adult life in Barnet and can testify to the council being akin to a bunch of criminals. They called it “Easy council services”. More like Fcuk all services.

  3. Thank you Joseph. Everyone should be prepared to offer what help they can to the poor and needy. Unlike the council and Catalyst who want to help themselves.

  4. Captured right-wing Unison man claims, “There was no vaccine back then…”

    Correction. There wasn’t a vaccine back then and there certainly isn’t now. The manufacturers themselves referred to their products whilst in design as “gene therapies” but changed the publicity descriptor to “vaccine” and claimed 90% efficacy to gain Emergency Use Authorisation and the much hankered after permission to sell. The human lab rat test doesn’t expire until 2021, and it’s since transpired that these experimental gene therapies do not prevent infection or onward transmission, as initially and very noisily claimed (and STILL incorrectly claimed by the mainstream media along with those who insult your intelligence by parroting BBC TV News at you.)

    The United States CDC has since falsified the definition of “vaccine”, removing any and all references to the conferring of immunity.

    As the fear and loathing ramps up, Orwell’s warnings are being realised by the hour.

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