by Tim Lezard Around 70 care workers who have been on strike for 90 days over draconian wage cuts are set to vote on a proposal to end the dispute. The employees from Doncaster, who were transferred from the NHS to private company Care UK earlier this …

Tim Lezard

UNISON logoby Tim Lezard

Around 70 care workers who have been on strike for 90 days over draconian wage cuts are set to vote on a proposal to end the dispute.

The employees from Doncaster, who were transferred from the NHS to private company Care UK earlier this year, have been locked in a bitter row with the private equity owned firm after it slashed staff wages by up to 35%.

Following a sustained period of industrial action, Care UK has offered all staff an immediate 2% pay rise, with further increases scheduled for 2015 and 2016. This would mean employees would receive a 2% pay rise in both years, or an increase equivalent to the Consumer Price Index if that is higher.

In addition, staff who transferred to Care UK from Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust would receive an additional £500 non-consolidated payment next month.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The proposal put forward by Care UK has been the result of the commitment of our members, tough negotiations and strong support from the local community. We welcome the support of Labour MPs throughout for Care UK strikers, including Ed Miliband and other local MPs.

“These workers have made an enormous sacrifice by foregoing their wages over the past few months and stood firm in the face of a cynical attempt to drive down their wages and de-skill the workforce. They devote their lives to caring for people with severe learning disabilities, and it is only right that they receive a wage that reflects their skills, experience and the enormous responsibility they have for some of the most vulnerable people in their community.”

UNISON Regional Organiser in Yorkshire and Humberside Jim Bell said:

“The commitment shown by the workers at Care UK throughout this long running dispute has been admirable. We are pleased that an offer is finally on the table that could pave the way for an end to the strike.

“Our members were not only taking strike action to stop them losing their homes, they were fighting for the very existence of the NHS and the vital services it provides to the most vulnerable people in society.

“All along we have been seeking a negotiated outcome because we are a responsible trade union and our members are totally devoted to keeping the service they provide to vulnerable people in Doncaster.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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