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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Barrow and Kendal care staff fear losing homes due to pay cut

UP to 80 workers in Barrow and Kendal are fearing for their future after it was announced they could be set to lose almost one third of their take-home pay.

Staff at Creative Support have been told their pay will be cut by an average of around 27 per cent and with holiday, evening and sick pay set to be cut, the overall reduction in take-home pay could be as high as 31 per cent.

Creative Support provides care workers for vulnerable people.

Unison, the public service union, contacted the Evening Mail after members raised fears about their immediate future, fearing less pay could impact their security.

Graham Carr, a Unison rep in South Cumbria, said: “What does it say about our society if this important service is treated as something to provide as cheaply as possible?

“All of our members work in tough jobs where we already give up our own time.

“ It feels like a kick in the teeth to be asked to do this for less pay and worse terms and conditions.”

Mr Carr said staff are fearful that they will not be able to make ends meet and could face losing their homes.

There are more than 80 staff affected who provide daily assistance to vulnerable people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour.

Mr Carr said workers will be lobbying MPs and Cumbria County Council in a bid to highlight the “damage” as a result of the cuts.

Gary Sheehan, service director at Creative Support, said: “Creative Support is a non-profit, charitable organisation which is commissioned by Cumbria County Council to provide support for people with learning disabilities. Cumbria County Council requires all providers to provide value for money and we are currently working to review our staff terms and conditions following the transfer of NHS staff to Creative Support in 2008 and 2012.

“As a result, we are entering into a period of consultation with our staff with regards to changing their current terms and conditions of employment; in order that we can continue to provide the services at the funding rate set by the council.

“Obviously, this is a very difficult process and we are working closely with the individual staff and unions to try and resolve the negotiations as amicably as possible.

“The funding reductions will not impact on the level of support we currently provide to our service users. We are not changing staffing levels within any of our services and we are not proposing to make any posts redundant.

“However, we do recognise that the next few months will prove to be a difficult period for a number of our staff. At the same time, we are committed to ensuring that we continue to provide a high quality, person-centred service for the people we support.’’

Have your say

Same story happening in accrington, experienced ex NHS staff being targeted !! Re these so called efficiencies ..yet rather than just being fair they are threatening staff with cuts that the employees could not afford and would lose everything they have worked for for years!! Frontline services is not the place to make cuts...when creative support took on the these services they knew what they were tendering for!! As it says in their own TUPE policy!!!

It says in their own tupe policy: "creative support understands that if awarded contract it will be stepping into the shoes of transferee in respect of obligations and liabilities " also that they are committed to protecting and preserving our t+c and are incorporated into their budget as part of the tender"!!

Posted by What briefcase! on 11 February 2014 at 16:19

My biggest concern is the effect these cuts will have on service users. The single largest impact on the lives of these people is the continuity of the staff that works alongside them. When a member of staff moves on the loss, grief and confusion can be devastating. For the majority of service users it is akin to losing a family member. These cuts will inevitably force long serving, skilled and highly experienced staff members to look for work elsewhere. Couple this with a lower wage potentially causing a higher staff turnover then the effects for the service users will be catastrophic. It takes years in most cases to form a long standing, trusting relationship and the outcome is simply going to be poorer quality of life for these already vulnerable people. To quote “we are committed to ensuring that we continue to provide a high quality, person-centred service for the people we support.’’ To me proves that some care providers definition of and commitment too “high quality” isn’t quiet up to the level existing service users expect and deserve.

Posted by Socrates on 16 January 2014 at 19:05

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