Hundreds of West Midlands care workers threatened with the sack

More than 300 care staff working with disabled adults across the West Midlands have been threatened with the sack by their employer Aspire Living, says UNISON today.

The frontline staff who work across the counties of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire have been told they could be out of a job by Christmas unless they agree to substantial changes to their contracts. Aspire Living, a charity providing care services to local councils, wants to cut the annual leave, sick pay, and overtime of its workforce, which would see low-paid care staff losing out financially.

The new contract Aspire wants to impose on its staff also contains a clause allowing the employer to lower pension provision should it wish in the future. UNISON West Midlands regional organiser Ray Salmon said:

“There’s already a crisis in social care. Many services are struggling to deliver as they simply can’t recruit enough staff. This is no way to treat care workers who have given their all during the pandemic. Cruel cuts such as these threatened by Aspire would be outrageous at any time. But to do so now after everything they have done is beyond breath-taking.

Aspire seems to have forgotten that only a few months ago the entire country was applauding the efforts of all key workers. This is not the time to be treating dedicated care staff with such contempt. If the bullying tactics at Aspire succeed, everyone will be expected to work longer for less. Long-serving care staff could see their retirement plans ruined. Many others may choose to leave for jobs elsewhere. Staff are distraught at the impact the changes could have on the many vulnerable adults so reliant on the care provided. The charity must see sense and think again.”

This appears to be another example of an employer using a ‘Sack & Sign’ ultimatum to force through detrimental changes to the workforce’s terms and conditions. Heineken have utilised a similar tactic with workers at the Hereford Bulmers factory, which you can read about here.

Worcestershire Transformed stands in solidarity with the Aspire Living workers who, despite caring for vulnerable adults in these most difficult of circumstances, are being treated appallingly by their employer. You can keep up to date with the dispute via Unison West Midlands Facebook page.

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