Care Plus, which provides adult health and social care in north east Lincolnshire, is trying “to railroad” though a “savage” package of cuts to its 750 employees’ pay and conditions.
Unite, the largest union in the country, said that Care Plus, a so-called social business, wanted to implement £800,000 of savings in the next financial year (2013/14) which would hit patient care.
Dave Monaghan, Unite regional officer, said: “Care Plus is intent on tearing up the long-established Agenda for Change national agreement for staff. It is savage in its scope.”
Care Plus provides such services as community nursing, specialist nursing for such conditions as diabetes, drug and alcohol misuse, home care, learning disability and end of life services.
Management has only allowed 28 days, from 7 January, to consult staff on the proposals which could see cuts to overtime and unsocial hours payments; travel expenses for staff using their vehicles on business; maternity leave payments and to annual leave, as well as the downgrading of posts.
The proposed £800,000 axe is on top of £865,000 of cuts demanded for the current financial year (2012/13) – with even more cuts promised in future years.
Dave Monaghan said: "This is one of the worst examples of attacking health service staff pay and conditions that I have seen.
“In a short period of time, when diaries are already full, Care Plus is attempting to railroad through changes to our members’ contracts which will have a devastating effect on their remuneration packages. Management is refusing union representatives permission to address their members at the consultation sessions - that's disgraceful.
“It is too early to assess the knock-on effect for patient care, but undoubtedly, it will be adversely affected. The NHS is being dissected before our very eyes.
“This is not what staff were promised at the time of conversion to a social enterprise and staff clearly feel very let down. Unite will be working with our members to strongly fight these changes.”
For further information please contact Dave Monaghan on 07979 241995 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.