Somerset care worker of the month - meet Tracey Wright

CARE assistant Tracey Wright helps a resident at Croft House.

CARE assistant Tracey Wright helps a resident at Croft House.

First published in News

Each month, we meet someone working in the care sector. This month, we caught up with Tracey Wright, care assistant at Croft House, of Somerset Care in Williton.

Q. What are the main duties/responsibilities in your role?

A. Croft House has 67 rooms and is a residential home with a dementia unit for 31 beds. My main role and responsibility is to ensure that the residents in my care are happy, clean and well fed; that their physical needs are met with compassion and efficiently. The older generation needs and deserves our respect and I always try and remember this.

Q. What made you want to work in the care sector?

A. I love older people, they have so many memories and life experiences to share. To care for someone who is approaching the end of their life is a privilege. I think I will always work within the care sector.

Q. What do you enjoy most about it?

A. I enjoy engaging with people. Chatting to a resident with dementia and helping them have a small moment of clarity is such a wonderful moment. To have someone who is lost in their thoughts make eye contact with you and smile makes me feel like a million dollars!

Q. What would you change or improve about it?

A. I think care work still has a stigma to it – it’s not all about incontinence, it’s about showing compassion and giving people time. I think care workers in general deserve more recognition for the job we have to do. This could be reflected in a better rate of pay to make sure the care sector attracts the right people.

Q. Tell us about a memorable experience from your career?

A. Every day gives me a memorable experience but one day when a quieter resident with advanced stage dementia remembered my name and called out ‘hello’ to me brought tears to my eyes. It made me realise that you may not think a person has been listening but never stop chatting and caring because one day you will be rewarded with a smile.

Comments (2)

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8:21am Thu 10 Jul 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

Q. What would you change or improve about it?

A. I think care work still has a stigma to it – it’s not all about incontinence, it’s about showing compassion and giving people time. I think care workers in general deserve more recognition for the job we have to do. This could be reflected in a better rate of pay to make sure the care sector attracts the right people.

Quite right Tracey, care workers should be paid more! However, the harsh reality is quite the opposite. Care workers wages have not only been eroded by below inflation 'increases' or outright pay freezes, in some cases care workers' wages have been savagely cut!

Look at what is going on at Doncaster for example.

Doncaster Care UK workers continue pay struggle

The first phase of Doncaster Care UK workers' battle against 35% pay cuts, which included 34 days of strike action, has drawn to a conclusion.

Improvements have been secured from the original proposal of no enhancements and members will now progress through the pay bands subject to the usual performance indicators.

The Employment Tribunal decision went against us and our members democratically decided to accept transitional payments to temporarily alleviate the hardship that Care UK is raining down on us.

But if Care UK bosses think this is the end of Doncaster Unison resistance they can think again.

During the last nine months, Care UK has made it clear it intends to adopt a static version of transfer of earnings (TUPE).

It is not abiding by any pay award made to NHS staff since our transfer from NHS to Care UK on 1 September 2013. There is also no proposed pay rise this year.

No alternative

So Care UK leave us with no alternative but to submit our own pay claim for 2014-15.

The claim is for a meaningful increase in basic pay for all staff and a minimum starting rate of £7.65 an hour, the current living wage.

A company that makes millions of pounds profit from public sector contracts is so mean that it does not even pay its lowest graded staff the living wage.

We therefore have the ludicrous situation that many of our members who work for this organisation need to claim in-work benefits to survive.

The consultative vote on further industrial action produced an 85% mandate for a further strike ballot, which is now going ahead.

Adapted from Unison Doncaster Care UK bulletins

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Q. What would you change or improve about it? A. I think care work still has a stigma to it – it’s not all about incontinence, it’s about showing compassion and giving people time. I think care workers in general deserve more recognition for the job we have to do. This could be reflected in a better rate of pay to make sure the care sector attracts the right people. Quite right Tracey, care workers should be paid more! However, the harsh reality is quite the opposite. Care workers wages have not only been eroded by below inflation 'increases' or outright pay freezes, in some cases care workers' wages have been savagely cut! Look at what is going on at Doncaster for example. Doncaster Care UK workers continue pay struggle The first phase of Doncaster Care UK workers' battle against 35% pay cuts, which included 34 days of strike action, has drawn to a conclusion. Improvements have been secured from the original proposal of no enhancements and members will now progress through the pay bands subject to the usual performance indicators. The Employment Tribunal decision went against us and our members democratically decided to accept transitional payments to temporarily alleviate the hardship that Care UK is raining down on us. But if Care UK bosses think this is the end of Doncaster Unison resistance they can think again. During the last nine months, Care UK has made it clear it intends to adopt a static version of transfer of earnings (TUPE). It is not abiding by any pay award made to NHS staff since our transfer from NHS to Care UK on 1 September 2013. There is also no proposed pay rise this year. No alternative So Care UK leave us with no alternative but to submit our own pay claim for 2014-15. The claim is for a meaningful increase in basic pay for all staff and a minimum starting rate of £7.65 an hour, the current living wage. A company that makes millions of pounds profit from public sector contracts is so mean that it does not even pay its lowest graded staff the living wage. We therefore have the ludicrous situation that many of our members who work for this organisation need to claim in-work benefits to survive. The consultative vote on further industrial action produced an 85% mandate for a further strike ballot, which is now going ahead. Adapted from Unison Doncaster Care UK bulletins For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 2

7:23pm Thu 10 Jul 14

ladybird14 says...

I think they should be on much more money for what they charge to stay there £600/£900 a week my gran goes for rest bite to give my mum a break they even charge £10.00 per bath
I think they should be on much more money for what they charge to stay there £600/£900 a week my gran goes for rest bite to give my mum a break they even charge £10.00 per bath ladybird14
  • Score: 0

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