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‘Deeply concerning’ survey finds majority of Care Agency staff stressed

Photo by Eyleen Gomez.

Some 85% of Care Agency workers feel stressed while at work, a survey carried out by Unite the Union has found.

The union said the survey results are “deeply concerning” and follow a collective grievance supported by Unite which was lodged nearly a year ago.

The ‘stress survey’ was carried out over the course of six weeks due to growing concerns about staff feeling demoralised.

Unite said the results showed staff are feeling “incredibly under pressure” and some indicated they had a high level of stress.

If unresolved, Unite said, this high level of stress amongst staff could lead to them to consulting members on possible action.

“When asked to rate stress levels between 1-5, with five indicating the highest levels of stress, 81% of respondents stated that a lack of control over their work rated between 3-5 on the scale,” Unite the Union said.

“In addition, 56% of respondents believed within the Care Agency there was a failure to recognise achievement of staff which was a cause for increased stress and anxiety levels whilst working.”

Unite said it believes that staff who have been on the frontline supporting the most vulnerable in the local community should be correctly recognised for their efforts as well as for the benefit of the service they provide.

“Going forward it is clear that a lot of work needs to be done to address the staff concerns in the interest of both staff welfare as well as the service users they care for,” Unite said.

The survey comes after a collective grievance, supported by Unite, was lodged nearly a year ago.

The grievance was signed by over 100 members of staff which detailed concerns over working conditions as well as contractual concerns of Unite members.

“Unfortunately to date this remains unanswered,” Unite said.

“Within the survey distributed to members 41% of survey respondents stated that a lack of communication between staff and management was a paramount stress causer within the workplace.”

“Furthermore, 69% identified that the uncertainty of their future within the Care Agency played a significant impact on their wellbeing.”

The union said it is in the interest of all relevant stakeholders to take the results of this survey seriously.

It added staff morale being so low and staff stress and anxiety being so high, is not in the short, medium nor long term interest of care workers in Gibraltar.

“Employee’s mental health must be paramount in trying to improve the service for all within the community,” Unite said.

Going forward Unite said it will continue to support its members within the Health and Care sector to improve current practices and terms and conditions for staff.

“Unite will be seeking further constructive engagement regarding the outcomes and potential solutions on the survey findings.”

“Without positive engagement on these issues Unite will feel the need to consult its members on possible action.”

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