Strike over 'brutal' pay cuts for South Yorkshire care home staff moves a step closer

Stenson Court is one of seven care homes in Doncaster owned by Runwood Homes
Stenson Court is one of seven care homes in Doncaster owned by Runwood Homes
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A strike over 'brutal' pay cuts for care home staff in South Yorkshire has moved a step closer.

Unison today said it was balloting members over industrial action after Runwood Homes, which employs nearly 300 people at seven care homes in Doncaster, rejected its request to resolve the dispute via the mediator ACAS.

The union said it had already conducted an 'indicative' ballot, in which 100 per cent of members who voted indicated they were prepared to go on strike.

The GMB union has already said it is balloting its members over what it branded 'brutal' changes to pay and working conditions.

The unions say the proposals would leave many already low-paid members £300-£400 a month worse off.

Rianne Johnson, Unison's regional organiser, said: "Sadly the situation in Doncaster care homes is one that low paid workers experience when public services are hived off to private companies.

"It is a race to the bottom where employees’ pay and conditions are cut in order to maximise shareholders' profits.

"Whilst Runwood Homes are proposing to take up to £400 per month from our members’ monthly pay, they made £12 million operating profit last year and the owner and majority shareholder of Runwood Homes made it onto the 2016 Sunday Times Rich List."

Runwood has said it is still consulting staff and unions over the proposed changes, which it says are needed as the homes - which between them have 274 beds - are not 'sustainable'.