Striking Care UK staff take protest to London

Striking Doncaster Care UK staff taking their protest to London
Striking Doncaster Care UK staff taking their protest to London

Striking Doncaster care workers have taken their protest over cuts to their pay and conditions to London.

Members of Unison working for Care UK travelled to central London to demonstrate outside the offices of parent firm Bridgepoint.

They are involved in one of the longest running disputes in the history of the NHS, having just launched a three-week walkout following months of action.

Nicola Naylor, who has worked as a nurse for 35 years, claimed qualified staff are leaving because of changes to their pay and conditions and they are being replaced with cheaper, untrained employees.

“The quality of service is being affected, so vulnerable people are being hit. This is all about the privatisation of the NHS.”

Unison official Jim Bell said: “This is the 51st day of industrial action, but morale is stronger than ever.

“New, untrained staff who should have someone with them are working alone. It is wrong.”

Unison said it is focusing protests on the company which owns Care UK.

A Care UK spokesman said they expected low participation in the industrial action, and had contingency plans.

He said: “We expect 85 per cent of our workforce will be working over the next three weeks.

“This is an essential social care service, funded by a local council which must find over £100 million of savings. It is not an NHS service funded by an NHS commissioner with ring fenced funding.

“Colleagues transferring to Care UK from the previous provider have in any case maintained their pay rates at around 50 per cent higher than care workers in comparable services. Union demands for a further pay increase of up to 10 per cent are simply unaffordable. No health or social care service is able to make pay increases on this scale at the present time.”