GMB Union partnership underpins Be Caring commitment to employees

GMB Union partnership underpins Be Caring commitment to employees.

Be Caring CEO, Sharon Lowrie, is determined that Be Caring will shake things up in the Social Care sector. Be Caring is calling time on the notion that carers fall into the category of low skilled workforce. Above all, it’s unfair to label carers as low skilled where a professional career pathway exists. Besides attaining their Care Certificate, Be Caring employees, through our partnership with Sunderland College, can become a registered nurse or social worker. Ultimately, this is where the debate between low pay and low skill are being confused on a national level. Therefore, the GMB Union partnership underpins Be Caring commitment to employees.

Interview: Sharon Lowrie, CEO Be Caring Ltd.

Why partner with the GMB?

Be Caring is actively developing it’s partnership with the GMB because of our shared common goal. Simply put, we both want the very best for our staff and colleagues.  Above all, that’s better terms and conditions, better training, and a better working environment. As an employee-owned organisation delivering a vital public service and a union representing over 600,000 workers in the UK, it’s an obvious partnership. Our colleagues have the right to representation at a national level.

What does this mean for Be Caring employee-owners?

At Be Caring we believe if we look after our colleagues, they will deliver the very best care for our clients. Our vision of everyone living their life to its fullest potential starts and finishes with our colleagues working tirelessly in the community. They need to feel valued in the same way as any other role delivering public services which often isn’t the case. This is very apparent when you compare the perception of social work to that of the NHS.

Tell us more, no external shareholders, why does this make a difference?

By having no external shareholders it means we can put every penny into enhancing our carers terms and conditions. Rather, we re-invest in developing our colleagues as individuals.

How are you influencing the decision makers?

It’s our ambition to move as far away from zero-hour contracts as is possible. Unfortunately, due to the way Homecare is commissioned this can be very difficult. The GMB can support us to deliver key messages to decision makers in local and national government who can influence local and national policy and ensure that Social Care is valued in the 21st Century.

Be Caring employs around 800 people. How does the GMB ensure the organisation is sticking to its promise and listening to colleague feedback?

The GMB provides feedback to our local and national management teams. We welcome all feedback and want to understand how we can do things better. The GMB also work with our elected Voice Representatives to ensure we are continuously improving in all we do.

So what’s your message to carers out there? Is the GMB – Be Caring partnership really in a position to shake-up the system?

The partnership with the GMB is important. With a workforce who are often working alone in our communities, it can be difficult to capture all of the ideas to ensure our carers working day is fulfilled both in role and pay. The GMB can support this in addition to campaigning to value our carers in the 21st century which is something we all want to achieve.