Care UK staff to take part in further strike action

Care UK staff.
Care UK staff.

Care UK has today been formally informed that Unison is to hold further industrial action in the service for adults with learning disabilities in Doncaster for a period of three weeks starting next Monday, August 25.

This follows reports in the media made within hours of returning to work from the previous strike that Unison was planning further action.

A Care UK spokesperson said: “We believe that another strike is both unnecessary and irresponsible. The strike has only been supported by 15 per cent of the workforce in the Doncaster service. Those colleagues transferring to Care UK from the previous provider have maintained their pay rates at around 50 per cent higher than care workers in comparable services.

“Their demand for a further pay increase of up to 10 per cent is simply unaffordable when the council has to make savings of more than £100 million.

“No health or social care service is able to make pay increases on this scale at the present time.

“Care UK’s approach in Doncaster has protected all the jobs within the service at a time when it has been necessary to cut over a 1,000 jobs within other council services in the city. Care UK has also protected NHS final salary pension rights and future pay increments and made a transitional payment equivalent to 14 months difference in earnings to those who transferred from the previous provider.

“Our service has continued to provide an improving quality of support throughout the industrial action taken by a small number of activists and we are confident that we will continue to operate the same high quality service during any future strike action.”

Unison representative Jim Bell said about 70 union members would be taking part in the strike, adding: “I asked Care UK this morning if they wanted to negotiate and they said no, so I’ve given them notice of a three week strike starting at 7am on Bank Holiday Monday.

“We’re willing to sit round the table but the silence is deafening, and if they’re not listening then we will have to make more noise until they start listening to us.

“Our members reached a unanimous decision to take further action, there is no sign of waning, resolve is growing if anything, we’re in for the long haul.”