Care UK managers have again reassured users of Doncaster’s learning disability services that they will be able to rely on the same levels of support as usual when Unison again calls on some of the service’s staff to take industrial action. Strike action is due to start at 7.00am on Sunday morning, but will only last for 48 hours, in comparison to two earlier seven day stoppages.
Care UK has again explained to union officials that the provider is not able to pour additional money into staff costs for the service which is 100 per cent funded by the local council. Care UK’s director of learning disability services, Chris Hindle, has warned the union against misleading colleagues within the service:
He said: “Colleagues shouldn’t be misled by Unison. There is no further funding and, even after the proposed changes are implemented, the service will generate only a very small surplus. Further strike action doesn’t change the financial position of the service. It’s no secret that Doncaster Council, which is the sole funder of the service, is in a tight financial situation. It expects this service to move to a sustainable financial footing at the same time as enhancing services. We’re able to do that by making the changes which have been proposed, but at the same time enabling all employees to keep both their basic salaries and entitlement to a generous NHS pension.”
Unison is planning another 48 hour strike in Doncaster starting this weekend which has the capacity to disrupt the lives of around 140 people with learning disabilities.
However, once again, Care UK managers and colleagues from other services will swing into action from Sunday to ensure that people receive a good quality, safe service with plenty of opportunities to carry on with their normal day-to-day activities. Care UK managers hope that the much shorter strike will reduce disruption in this important local service.
Speaking about the strike, Chris said: “I genuinely believe that our proposal which protects jobs, people’s basic pay, keeps their membership of the valuable NHS pensions scheme and protects current salaries for a period of over 14 months, is a fair way of delivering change at a time when public sector funded services are juggling a growing demand and dramatic budget cuts. I’m sure that, if it wasn’t Care UK in this situation, any other provider chosen to deliver this service would have to take similar, or perhaps even more draconian, measures to balance the books and deliver the modernised and improved service that the people it supports deserves.”