Care Plus staff urged to attend Unison meeting before signing contracts
UNISON officials are urging nurses and other staff members not to sign a contract detailing changes to their terms and conditions before consulting with them first.
All employees at Care Plus Group, which provides adult health and social care in North East Lincolnshire, have been handed new contracts to sign and accept by 5pm on Thursday, February 28.
However Unison say these have been handed out to their members without them seeing it first, something they claim is unacceptable.
Paul Swarbrick, area organiser for Unison Yorkshire and Humberside, said: "We need a mandate from our members on this so we have organised a meeting to take place this Thursday evening, 5.30pm, at the Royal Humber Hotel, Littlecoates Road, Grimsby.
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"Our 200 members are invited to attend and we strongly urge they do in order for us to give them a voice over these changes.
"We know some staff are stuck in limbo and are not sure if to sign the contracts or not.
"Discussions and feedback from this meeting will allow us to decide what action if any we take in response to the altered terms and conditions."
Management at Care Plus claim national funding reductions and an increase in general costs due to inflation have left them with no choice but to change employees' terms and conditions.
Care Plus must make between £800,000 and £1 million in savings from April 1 this year to March 31, 2014.
This is on top of £865,000 successfully saved in this financial year, which ends on March 31 – with even more cuts promised in future years.
No job losses are planned but Mr Swarbrick, said: "Bosses at Care Plus say there are no cuts to staff wages but many of our members rely on their enhancements as they're on low pay band.
"This is now one of many things being changed as overtime payments are being cut from time and a half to time and a quarter - this is a very worrying time for a lot of people.
"If many of our members are against agreeing to these new terms and conditions then we will confront Care Plus.
"Care Plus can extend their deadline for staff to sign and I hope they will to allow us enough time to consult with our members."
Jane Miller, Care Plus group chief operating officer, said: "This is not an easy time for anyone, but doing nothing is sadly not an option for us.
"We hope that staff will understand the context in which we are having to do this and accept these changes.
"As a social enterprise we very much want the views of all our staff on these important issues and this is why we have sent the offer directly to them."