UNISON has been campaigning against cuts proposed by Leicestershire County Care Ltd that would hit the wages and conditions of employment of 98 staff employed in the 13 former council care homes across Leicestershire.
Plans to cut pay of some care workers by 30% together with reductions to holiday, sick pay and maternity benefits were announced two weeks ago. The union rejected the proposals saying they were an ‘insult’ and criticised the company.
But the Essex based care company responded with a threat to sack the workers unless they accepted the offer, claiming additional Covid-19 related costs and falling revenues had placed the company in jeopardy, with the prospect that some homes may close.
UNISON have launched an online petition and we are calling on the Leader of Leicestershire County Council, Councillor Nicholas Rushton, and the elected Mayor of Leicester Sir Peter Soulsby, to exert influence as community leaders and commissioners of care services to prevent the cuts.
This week the Government provided an additional £600m to bail out the residential care sector – money which has been handed to local councils to administer. We have now written to the owners of the home offering to make a joint approach to the two Councils in Leicestershire if the company drops the threat of dismissals.
UNISON East Midlands Regional Secretary, Chris Jenkinson said: “The residential care sector is in crisis, the government failed to provide PPE and testing now a third of all Covid related deaths are in care homes. Care workers have been doing their best for residents despite rather than because of support they’ve received from government. If there was any justice, they would be due a bonus, but instead they face the sack or a big pay cut. It’s simply not fair.
“We are therefore calling on the two councils and the owner of the care homes to agree a package of support using the government money to protect jobs, maintain pay and keep open all of the homes”.
The employer and UNISON are due to commence a fresh round of talks to resolve the dispute starting on Tuesday, 26th May.