Around 120 care workers at charity St Anne’s face massive pay cuts, loss of annual leave and increased pension payments being imposed by managers.
The front-line carers, who have worked throughout the pandemic putting their lives at risk, have been told they must sign up to the cuts by July 10 or face being sacked and re-employed on new contracts.
St Anne’s operates care services across the North of England, including Bradford, Leeds, Durham, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside, Sunderland, Sheffield and Kirklees.
The charity says it is harmonising pay and conditions between all staff by slashing the pay of those who were transferred to St Anne’s from the NHS under TUPE regulations.
UNISON Regional Officer Dean Harper said: “They are robbing Peter to pay Paul and it will devastate the lives of 120 dedicated care workers.
“Could any low-paid worker cope with £7-8,000 being slashed from their income? Of course not. It will mean people being forced to leave jobs they love because they can’t pay their mortgages or rent.
“Already St Anne’s is losing a quarter of its staff every year and these massive cuts will make recruitment and retention even worse.
“I have spoken to one of our members who has put her house on the market because she will not be able to keep up the repayments.”
This isn’t an isolated incident. Many other members are faced with the prospect of not being able to feed and clothe their children. Others now face a retirement spent in poverty rather than one where they can enjoy the remaining years of their lives.
He added that the charity had previously blamed the drastic cuts to pay and conditions on a reduction in local authority funding.
But Bradford Council have confirmed to UNISON that St Anne’s had received increased funding from the local authority for two consecutive years. Leeds have also confirmed they have uplifted their funding to the tune of £1.6m so we’re questioning why St Annes are using the reduction in funding as an excuse to attack our members pay and terms and conditions.
Dean said: “There is great anxiety among members who are faced with the real prospect of living in poverty.
We are currently running an indicative ballot to see how our members want us to proceed and we are also consulting our lawyers to assess the legality of the charity’s planned dismissal and re-engagement”
We are also seeking advice on whether the dismissals may be potentially unfair
For further information contact Dean Harper on 07944877800