Strikers protest at council care firm

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Strikers have staged a protest outside the officers of the private company which provides adult social care in Mansfield and Ashfield on behalf of the county council.

Striking members of the UNISON trade union staged the protest outside the offices of Care UK in Hamilton Way, Mansfield, on Tuesday 7th October.

The strikers told Chad they were protesting against staff pay rates and working conditions at the company - which is engaged by Nottinghamshire County Council to provide home care services.

The strikers said that the ‘bitter dispute’ had arisen because former NHS staff had suffered a 35 per cent cut in pay following the privatisation of their learning disability service.

The dispute is one of the longest ever in health and social care with staff involved in over 80 days of action, the union said.

But the company told Chad that the protest relates to issues in Doncaster and there had been no complaints from staff working for the company around Mansfield and Ashfield.

A company spokesman said: “The dispute was over the need for savings, including addressing historical generous enhanced rates for working evenings and weekends and to bring holiday entitlement more into line with what is normal for the sector – 25 days plus bank holidays for full time employees as opposed to 33 days paid holiday (not including bank holidays) which many enjoyed.

“Care UK has protected the basic pay of all employees within the service who transferred to Care UK.

“They will continue to be members of the NHS final salary pension scheme and have future pay increments protected.”

Nottinghamshire County Council spokesman Jon Wilson added: “We are aware that UNISON has a dispute with Care UK concerning a service that is commissioned by another local authority outside Nottinghamshire and does not affect local services.

“As the dispute does not involve the county council or residents of Nottinghamshire it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”