Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/833/19653
Care UK workers to ballot on 2% pay deal
Doncaster Care UK workers are set to ballot on a pay offer. 90 days of strike action taken over ten months has forced this wage-cutting employer to concede a three year deal of a 2% a year or Consumer Price Index pay rise, whichever is the highest. This would be paid to all Doncaster Care UK staff with a £500 bonus for the Tupe transferred staff this Christmas.
The Doncaster Supported Living Service for Adults with Learning Difficulties was privatised last year. Within three months of takeover, 'Don't Care UK' announced that former NHS staff's pay would be slashed an average of 35%.
Workers refused to accept this and began what has become the longest running strike ever in the social care sector.
The magnificent struggle by the strikers has exposed Care UK and their private equity owners Bridgepoint, and inspired others such as Your Choice Barnet care workers and the St Mungo's Broadway housing workers to take bold strike action against cuts.
The Guardian has reported that the more than 60 strikers would be "celebrating" a pay deal set to "pave the way" to the end of industrial action.
However, chair of the strike committee Roger Hutt told the Socialist:
"If anybody thinks that we're happy to take a 35% pay cut and then get 2% back, they are sadly mistaken. But after such a long hard struggle, the shop stewards felt obligated to put the offer to the members.
"If you look at the bigger picture, I'm proud of the effect our campaign has had trying to stop the private sector milking the NHS as a cash cow and abusing service users as commodities. We have travelled the country with our message, even reaching the Observer and House of Commons."
The feelings of many strikers are summed up by Theresa Rollinson:
"Having lost so much due to changes to terms and conditions it is not acceptable to me.
"It would give me less than £8 per week, less than £400 per annum. I have lost the latter of those figures every month! It certainly won't go far to paying the bills. I know what my vote will say."
The Socialist Party salutes the inspiring struggle of the Care UK strikers and will continue to support them 100% if the pay deal is rejected.
In The Socialist 12 November 2014:
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