Care workers strike over 9.5% pay cut

The Barnet care workers say the council could have prevented the cut, but chose not to act

union strike
Unison members strike for fair pay Photo: REX

Up to 65 care workers with learning disabled adults are set to strike this week over a 9.5% pay cut.

The care workers are employed by Your Choice Barnet (YCB), a subsidiary set up by the London Borough of Barnet known as a local authority trading company.

Washing their hands

The workers have already taken four days of strike action over the pay cut, which they said was the result of an historic £400,000 pension deficit accrued by the council. In addition more than 30 workers have taken redundancy.

Unison representatives have accused  the council of transferring this debt to YCB but not passing it on to other companies it contracts with, including outsourcing giant Capita.

Unison representative, Tom Andrews said the council, as YCB’s major stakeholder, could take action to alleviate the situation, but had chosen not to.

“It feels to me like the council has created Your Choice Barnet, and now they’re washing their hands of us,” he said.

But the council has denied this. A  spokesman said: “When we have transferred pension liability, as with YCB, we have also transferred the funding that pays for it. When we have outsourced and not passed on the liability, we have not passed on the funding.

“We very much believe that YCB is the right model for this service.”

Service penalised

Andrews said the situation was made worse by a council policy of not paying YCB for ‘no-shows’ or  when service users don’t turn up.

“It’s like the service is being penalised, but for what?

Following the strike, Unison members are also giving evidence about care workers’ pay and conditions in the House of Commons on 28 January.

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One Response to Care workers strike over 9.5% pay cut

  1. Fred January 23, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    a 10% pay cut for the care workers, meanwhile the bankers who caused the problems are coining it whilst making sizeable donations to the Conservative Party.

    As George Osborne said “we are all in it together”. Oh Yes!