Care Plus Group staff consider action over cuts that will cost them hundreds
NURSES and other health and social care staff have not ruled out taking industrial action over proposed "devastating cuts" to their pay and conditions – which they claim could cost them hundreds of pounds a month
As reported, Care Plus Group (CPG) must make between £800,000 and £1 million in savings from April 1 to March 31, next year.
This is on top of £865,000 successfully saved in this financial year, which ends on March 31 – with even more cuts to come in future years.
However, after announcing its proposals, staff – who provide services across North East Lincolnshire – met with Unison officials to discuss the new contracts, which they have been told to sign by 5pm on Thursday, February 28.
Unison officials were forceful in telling members not to sign until they have consulted with them first.
Lisa Haxby works for the rapid response service at CPG and says as part of the changes she will lose about £200 a month.
She said: "I work nights and these changes are cutting our enhancements to such an extent that I will lose hundreds of pounds a month.
"I can not afford to do this, not when the cost of living is going up.
"We are not asking the company for a pay rise or increases anywhere, we are just asking to keep what we have now.
"People are scared about their jobs. We provide an excellent, high-quality service to people in North East Lincolnshire and it is unfair to be doing this to staff.
"We know cuts have to be made, but these are too severe and affect far too many people in more than one way."
Ann Smith, a community nursing assistant for CPG, said she fears what the future holds for staff.
She said: "They have to save this much now. What happens next year when more has to be saved? Will staff bare the brunt of further cuts? I hope Unison can help us decide the best way to go about this, because there are a lot of unhappy people.
"We all rely on our enhancements for working unsocial hours. It makes up our wages, which we can not afford to reduce as many people are on low pay."
Paul Swarbrick, area organiser for Unison Yorkshire and Humberside, said: "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."
Lance Gardner, chief executive of the Care Plus Group said: "Everyone understands why we have to do it, but not all agree with it.
"We have tried to protect jobs through all this. Our care to staff is paramount despite everything."
Keep checking your Grimsby Telegraph for further updates.