http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/14582Community nursing specialist defends plan for pay cuts to adult care workers, but unions say it is against employee rights.
Care Plus, a health and social care social enterprise in north east Lincolnshire, said that the large pay cuts were necessary for the survival of the organisation, but union officials have said they have let the staff down and it is a ‘savage’ attack.
Jane Miller, deputy chief executive and chief operating officer of Care Plus said they now had no option but to examine spending on staff costs, which make up nearly 80% of the organisation’s outgoings.
Care Plus provides community nursing, specialist nursing for conditions as diabetes, drug and alcohol misuse, home care, learning disability and end of life services, and want to implement £800,000 of savings in the next financial year on top of £865,000 of cuts demanded for the current financial year.
It has started a 28-day consultation with staff over the changes.
Miller said the changes are necessary and they are consulting with their 750 staff on proposals to change staff terms and conditions, including travel expenses, sick pay, long service awards, maternity and paternity leave and annual leave:
We want to safeguard the organisation and the services it provides. When Care Plus Group was formed in July 2011, we couldn’t have predicted the extent of these changes, but external factors have made this situation impossible to avoid.
Unite say that this move to cuts staff pay will hit patient care.
Dave Monaghan, regional officer for Unite, said:
This is one of the worst examples of attacking health service staff pay and conditions that I have seen. Care Plus is intent on tearing up the long-established Agenda for Change national agreement for staff. [The consultation] is savage in its scope.
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.