Nurses at a Doncaster learning disability service are to go on strike for a second time over changes to their pay and conditions.
The contract to run the supported living service, which caters for 140 adults with learning disabilities, was awarded to Care UK last autumn.
Since then the provider has asked nursing staff to accept reductions in “enhancement” payments for working unsociable hours and annual leave, and move to statutory maternity provision and sick pay. The changes affect about 25 nurses.
A seven-day strike by 120 Unison members went ahead at the end of February and a second seven-day walk-out is set to start this Wednesday. Latest talks between the two sides ended without resolution on 7 March.
“The company needs to take care of its employees so they can take care of service users”
Rob Green, from Unison’s Doncaster health branch, said nurses were striking because they wanted to continue working at the service and caring for patients they had known for many years.
“People are facing losing about £400 a month and can’t afford to take a cut like that,” he told Nursing Times. “The company needs to take care of its employees so they can take care of service users.”
Care UK service director Chris Hindle said he was “extremely disappointed” to learn of a second strike. He said concessions had been made in the latest talks, including offering to boost a lump sum “transition payment” equivalent to 12 months’ full pay up to 14 months.
“Unison was still demanding no changes whatsoever be made,” he said. “The economic situation means something has to change and we still believe our proposal, which protects jobs, basic pay and pensions, is the fairest way of delivering that.”