Begin to awaken at seven in the morning to give time to asearlos and that at ten they are ready for breakfast. Are only two gerocultoras in the plant to cater to 17 elderly in a situation of great dependence, the most severe. “I was even a injury in the shoulder by repetitive movements and by moving to the users. When you come home, you hurt all over and the only thing you do is take an ibuprofen to be able to continue with the household chores”, says Juani Peñafiel, who brings 17 years working in the sector, now in a private residence in Madrid. “There are gusts in the that it hurts me so much back that I stretch out on the floor and cry,” says this woman of 50 years. The unions complain of the overload. A study of CC OO shows that a large part of the employees ends up medicating the problem to alleviate the pain.

She is one of the 250,000 people who work linked to the Dependency Law in Spain, according to an estimate by the Association of Directors and Managers in Social Services, expert in the field. The vast majority (almost 90%) are women, according to the calculations of CC OO, which increases the number of employees only in the residential sector to more than 290,000. Trade unions deplore the “precarity” —the gerocultoras and auxiliary home help does not reach 1,000 euros a month, according to the convention— and the working conditions, which impact on the quality of the service they provide to users, in a situation so vulnerable. If something generates consensus between workers, unions and companies of the sector is the need for funding of a law drowned out by the cuts.


Catalonia will take eight years to absorb the waiting list of the dependency economic paralysis of the Government threatens the care of the elderly An injection of hope to the smothering system of the dependence game dependence will rise 59%, to reach 2.232 million

women take more tranquilizers and sleeping pills than men, and the percentage of the population that declared to have taken hipnosedantes rose between 2007 and 2013, the most recent data available, among the working population of the social health services, education and Administration. “Spent 5.7% to 8.6%, according to the survey the Ages of the Ministry of Health. It is a percentage higher than the 7.3% average of the whole of the working population”, explains José Rodríguez Valdés, of the secretariat of labour security of CC OO. This includes the workers of the social services. “It is the third sector that more grew the consumption of hipnosedantes in these five years [the first was the domestic activities],” he says.

“This led us to conduct a study among more than 80 workers of residences, through discussion groups and twenty in-depth interviews with employees and with union representatives, human resources managers, physicians,…”, he adds. They refer to a work overload, physical and psychological. “Almost 80% stated that pain as usual, and three of every four ensures that you are taking medication to paliarlo. The results cannot be extrapolated to the entire population, but they give an idea of the gravity of the situation”, says Rodríguez Valdés. “They say that they feel pressure, tiredness, low professional recognition,” he says. “Before you get medication to calm anxiety or to sleep, take anti-inflammatory or soothing,” he continues.

“they Have high workloads, which in addition are pushed in situations of stress, because they see that they don’t get and the people they serve, very vulnerable,” says Grace Alvarez, responsible of dependence on UGT. “Their conditions have a direct impact on the quality of the service”, he adds. More than a million people receive a benefit or service through this law. More than 257.000 people are on the waiting list. More than 146.000 waiting to be assessed to know whether they have the right. “The workers have low wages and many have physical problems as a result of the same”, says Alvarez.

Jamie Penafiel confirmed that the pains are common among the companions. She charged 700 euros per month for working “three or four days a week” of seven to three in the afternoon. “The sector has been getting worse over the years. In my plant 15 years ago we were four workers to attend to the same people that now that we are two”. Users of this private home pay “of the 2.600 to 3.400 euros per month”. “For that money sometimes I think that I would be better off at home”, continues to this worker, who claims that, even without the stop throughout the day, they are giving them a good service.

The trade unions ask for wage gains. Take months to negotiate with the employer the new collective agreement, which brings together the sector of care homes, home help and telecare. UGT and CC OO have proclaimed precisely this Thursday, concentrations in cities across Spain —in Madrid to the CEOE— to claim a rise of salary. “There are four categories under the minimum wage, do not reach even 900 euros per month in 14 payments. We demand a pay rise of 10% between this year and next year”, claims Antonio Cabrera, secretary-general of the Federation of Health of CC OO. Jesus Cubero, secretary general of the Association of Service Companies for the Dependency (ATHIS), which brings together the major companies in the residential sector, it replicates that are willing to negotiate, but they have not accepted that proposal, “put forward in October because they would go up more than 8% of the wage in 2023”. Ensures that they comply with the ratios set by the autonomous communities —that unions decry as inadequate— and calls for more funding.

Cubero says that the prices of public square, laid down by the ministries go back “in most of the cases before the crisis,” and recalls that the General Administration of the State has the obligation to co-finance the law by 50% together with the autonomous communities. “Now pays 20% and the autonomous communities, as much as 80%,” he says. And here the consensus with the unions is absolute. “A great problem of the dependence is the financing. He was born without economic endowment and the cuts have not been recovered,” says Grace Alvarez, UGT.

But it affects also the precariousness and on the overhead, also of the auxiliary of home assistance. A study of UGT, presented last year, reveals the difficulties of the workers. “It’s a public service, but typically privately run. Usually have days of partial, but games, in such a way that at best work a few hours in the morning and the other in the afternoon, which prevents them to get around to it with other jobs. And the houses are not usually adapted, performed a lot of physical effort, they accumulate diseases”, topunta Álvarez.

Star Lopez of the Rose, sevillana 45 years of age, attends to the five elders in different areas of Huelva. “I’m in charge of the toilet, but also tasks such as doing the shopping, clean the house or help them walk”. Ensures that it has spent “a lot in physiotherapists”. Cobra 982 euro a month for a full day in the that made “great effort” physical. “Most of the houses do not have adjustable beds or cranes,” he explains. It is not the medical journal, but knows co-workers who “take anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxers before you go to work”. To support the new day. And the next day, back again.


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