Care UK could face industrial action in Islington, north London, over plans to halve pay and change conditions for some staff.
Andrew Berry, deputy branch secretary of Islington Unison, said staff at two care homes and two day centres were being “pushed into action” by the company’s proposals.
He said the changes would put care staff, who work with older people with mental health problems, on £5.95 an hour when they are currently earning about £12 an hour.
The staff transferred to Care UK from Islington Council or the NHS and, under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of
Employment) Regulations, retained their former terms and conditions, which are substantially better than those of other staff.
The services are commissioned by Islington Council under a contract that does not cover the additional conditions of the transferred staff.
Care UK has said it needs to make the cuts to “secure the long-term viability of the contract”.
The contract does allow for the council to pay Care UK an additional lump sum, which the company is using as an inducement for staff to accept the cuts.
Care UK’s stance is supported by Islington Council’s Liberal Democrat leadership, but is opposed by its Labour opposition, which has just one fewer seat on the authority.
A Labour motion condemning the moves was defeated by the casting vote of the mayor last week.