care home nurse

Staff at seven Runwood Homes services in South Yorkshire are set to stage strike action next month in a row over changes to their contracts.

Runwood Homes recently announced plans to cut the salaries of around 250 former council workers at seven homes in the Doncaster area in order to secure the future of services (see Runwood Homes plans former council staff wage cuts).

Unison regional organiser Rianne Johnson said: “Runwood Homes is forcing on its entire workforce a package to cut pay and conditions that would cost the average worker thousands of pounds per year.

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“Our members are already low paid but the new contracts would take them down to the poverty line. In a civilised society we should not be treating those who care for the most vulnerable people in our communities in such a way.”

Runwood Homes confirmed that it was in talks with Unison and staff over changes to workers terms and conditions of employment and working patterns.

“We are passionate about maintaining a continued presence in the provision of quality care in Doncaster,” its statement added.

“We are seeking to make these changes to protect the opportunities these homes offer our staff and residents while at the same time recognising the homes are not sustainable. With material financial losses posted for this region and a forecast showing this trend is set to continue, the existing operating model must be changed to ensure longevity of these homes.

“Runwood Homes has exciting plans to extend the service we provide in Doncaster, however, our current priorities are to ensure the future financial stability of each home, the continued provision of quality care to our residents and to secure employment of our skilled and valued employees.

“Runwood Homes have consulted fully with unions representing our staff and have met individually with all affected staff.  All representations have been considered before any decisions were made.”

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The author Lee Peart

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