Doncaster Care UK staff back out on strike

Care UK workers during their previous strike action.
Care UK workers during their previous strike action.

Staff who work for Doncaster’s learning disability service are set to go on strike today in a dispute over pay.

Union Unison has called the two weeks of industrial action concerned about the salaries of employees at Care UK, and between 70 and 80 were set to walk oput at 7am this morning. The move follows previous strikes earlier in the year.

Unison’s Jim Bell explained: “The last dispute came to a conclusion because of the anti union laws which mean that after three months staff are not legally protected and so they could have been dismissed by the company.

“We submitted a pay claim in two parts, for those who transferred from the health service for a meaningful pay award, and for those who joined the company since September to receive the living wage of £7.65.

“Care UK staff have to claim in-work benefits from the tax payer because they are paid so badly.

“The company should hang their heads in shame.”

Care UK’s director of learning disability services Chris Hindle, said: “Care UK is deeply disappointed that Unison is now calling for strike action over a completely new dispute within Doncaster’s learning disability service, despite the vast majority of colleagues accepting the revised terms and conditions opposed by the union.

“More than 90 per cent of colleagues transferring to Care UK have now accepted the revised terms and conditions necessary to put the service on a sustainable footing, including receipt of a transitional payment equivalent to up to 14 months difference in earnings. This is a substantial step forward, which we had hoped would allow everyone to focus on improving the service to better meet the needs of services users.

“The union has indicated verbally that it is demanding a pay rise of up to 10 per cent. This is simply unrealistic in light of the reduced funding available from the council and seems totally at odds with what is happening in comparable jobs in the NHS and other public sector roles where settlements, if any, are a fraction of this.

“We understand that the past few months have been a difficult time for colleagues, but know that we now need to focus on the service users we support and on continuing to deliver improvements within the service.”