Workers who care for adults with learning disabilities in Doncaster are considering strike action over proposals to slash their pay.
Employees who work for Care UK are said to be facing cuts of up to 50 per cent in their wages after the social care provider announced proposed changes to the terms and conditions in their contracts.
Care UK won a tender from Doncaster Council to take over the care of more than 130 people with learning disabilities on September 1.
The service was previously provided by RDaSH and its 245 staff members were also transferred to Care UK.
Then last month, employees were informed of proposed changes to the terms and conditions in their contracts.
They include scrapping pay enhancements for working weekends, bank holidays and nights.
Jim Bell, regional organiser for Unison, said: “For this to happen within three months of a private sector company taking over an NHS contract is outrageous.
“I’ve had members saying, ‘I will be evicted, I can’t pay my rent, I can’t pay my mortgage.’
“I have spoken to one woman who has just taken on a mortgage and she is facing a £400 a month pay cut.
“We will always make sure the company has plenty of notice of industrial action but we have to be concerned about our members who could be thrown out on the street.”
Unison representatives have held meetings with Care UK management but failed to reach an agreement.
The union is now carrying out a consultative ballot to gauge the strength of feeling.
A Care UK spokesman said: “Care UK has already protected the pensions and basic pay of existing employees.
“Since taking over the service, we have realised that one area where we can meet the financial requirement made is to take a look at the enhancements paid to people to work evenings and weekends.
“Our research has shown that these are higher than those paid for similar roles elsewhere.
“Consequently, we have invited unions to talk to us about whether the service can afford these enhanced rates.
“No decision has been made, this is a simply a dialogue about finding the fairest, most equitable way to be able to sustain this important Doncaster service.”