Southampton staff threaten to strike

Care staff in Southampton may strike over council plans to force them to accept new contracts under which they will lose their higher rates for unsocial hours.

Southampton Council wants to end enhanced payments for working weekends and evenings but increase the hourly pay rate. Those who do not sign the new contracts will lose their jobs.

Most of the 300 staff involved are in home care or residential care.

Public sector union Unison said it was balloting care staff on a strike and would consider a council-wide strike vote at a meeting in December.

A council spokesperson said that the current payment levels for unsocial hours were above the industry standard and that it had to address this to ensure the services remained cost-effective.

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