Hundreds of elderly people and those with disabilities who rely on ‘Ring and Ride’ in the West Midlands for transport to old people’s clubs or going shopping could find their trips curtailed.
This is because the management of Ring and Ride West Midlands Ltd has arbitrarily said it wants to drastically reduce the hours of 20 schedulers – the staff that arrange the trips for those registered with the charity.
Unite, the country’s largest union which represents the schedulers, said that the company wants to reduce the hours from 38.5 to 25 hours – this could see their wages slashed by about £120 a week.
Unite regional organiser Bob Shaw said: “The company has arbitrarily decided to cut back the hours of the schedulers without considering the impact on those vulnerable people using the services and also the massive reduction in the schedulers’ incomes.
“There is little doubt that services will be hit – this is unnecessary cost-cutting and will cause great anxiety for those that use the service and for their families and/or carers.
“Shopping trips and visits to old people’s clubs could be hit, as there won’t be the schedulers available to arrange the drivers for all the trips requested.”
Unite will be considering all options, including that of industrial action, to get the company covering Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, to rethink its proposals.
Bob Shaw said: “We are putting a shot across the bows of Ring and Ride – and we hope that management sees sense – and puts vulnerable people before penny pinching.”
Ring and Ride is funded by the region’s local authorities and the Centro, the West Midlands passenger transport executive.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
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- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.