Care UK managers have expressed disappointment that Unison has chosen to announce plans for a third strike in the Doncaster learning disability service.
Director of Care UK’s learning disability service, Chris Hindle said: “It is an indication of the trade union’s lack of interest in genuine dialogue that threatened further strike action is publicised through the media before being notified to the service itself. The union issues threats far more readily than it engages in constructive dialogue. Services users deserve better.
“We have arranged further meetings with the trade unions at which we hope to reach resolution. However the Unions do not seem to be ready to accept that, with Doncaster Council needing to make reductions of £109 million, savings need to be found in this service.”
Chris continued: “Nevertheless, we are all absolutely committed to, once again, delivering a good quality, safe service if this threatened strike does take place. We will ensure the people we support are able to get on with their lives - just as we did during the last walk outs. We have over a hundred team members in the service who aren’t Unison members and, with assistance from local managers and fully trained, experienced support workers from elsewhere in the country we absolutely pledge to keep the service operating as normal.”
Chris Hindle continued: “Last summer, the council made it very clear that whichever provider was chosen to deliver this service would have to reduce spend as well as improve the service. In fact the previous NHS provider told employees that if it had been awarded the contract to run the service again, it would have had to change terms and conditions to meet the requirements of the reduced budget. I firmly believe our proposal, which has avoided any redundancies, fully protects the basic pay above market rates for those who transferred into the service from the previous provider and enables those people to also continue to be members of the valuable NHS final salary pension scheme is the fairest way of keeping a good quality service and coping with the difficult financial situation that Doncaster Council is facing.”
As well as protecting basic pay, pensions and avoiding any redundancies, Care UK has also offered a transition payment which provides employees with salary protection for a period of more than 14 months.