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UK's largest care home provider agrees nursing staff pay deal with unions

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Nurses employed by one of the UK’s largest care home providers have accepted a new pay deal negotiated by the Royal College of Nursing and other unions.

Union members employed by Four Seasons Health Care homes voted overwhelmingly in favour of the offer, which will see many get a small pay increase.

Nursing Times reported last month that the RCN, Unison and the GMB and were close to securing a pay rise for the company’s nursing staff.

The new deal will mean a pay rise of between one and 1.5% for staff with more than six months’ service who have not had a pay rise since April 2016 – mainly nurses and some senior nursing support staff.

The increase will be backdated to October 2016. Meanwhile Four Seasons Health Care homes, which employs about 2,000 full-time nurses, has also confirmed that time spent working in handovers will be paid and so will breaks and training that have been approved managers.

“Given the challenges… we are pleased to have reached this agreement”

Clare Jacobs

The RCN told Nursing Times that it would continue working with managers at Four Seasons Health Care homes, part of the wider Four Seasons Health Care Group, on developing a “fair pay framework” this year across the business.

“Given the challenges facing publicly funded health and social care, we are pleased to have reached this agreement and that our members will receive a small increase in their pay,” said Clare Jacobs, the RCN’s lead negotiator for Four Seasons Health Care homes.

“However, the RCN continues to campaign for the Real Living Wage to underpin all basic pay in health and social care as the absolute minimum and strive for better pay, terms and working conditions for all our members,” she added.

The unions have also negotiated a pay rise for those who work at homes in the smaller brighterkind division of the Four Seasons group. Information about brighterkind’s offer has been sent out to union members with the result of the pay ballot due later this month.

“The unions recognised the increased rate is a good offer”

Louise Cherry

The Four Seasons Health Care Group, which employs around 30,000 staff including more than 4,000 nurses in total, also includes the Huntercombe Group providing specialist care for people with mental health problems and brain injuries. Unions are also in talks with the Huntercombe division.

Louise Cherry, people director at Four Seasons Health Care, said: “We have a recognition agreement with the RCN, the GMB and Unison and a constructive relationship based on a common aim that all front line care staff and support staff should be well trained, feel secure, be motivated and fairly paid for the important work they do.

“The unions recognised the increased rate is a good offer, considering the challenges the entire sector is facing from the widely publicised under-funding of elderly social care and we are pleased that their members have voted to accept it,” she added.

 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • a pay rise of 1.5% is a real terms pay cut.

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