Care staff employed by Dorset company Tricuro are to stage a silent protest outside county council offices in Dorchester later today, over plans that could see some employees lose as much as £2,600 a year.
Tricuro was set up just over a year ago by Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth councils to provide care to elderly and disabled residents across the county. It plans to cut the wages its low-paid staff receive for working at the weekend or on public holidays.
UNISON blames poor planning by the three councils regarding Tricuro’s initial business plan has left the company with a £1.3m hole in its budget. The plan omitted key cost pressures like future pay rises and the increase in employers’ national insurance contributions.
Tricuro’s response was to announce cuts to weekend and bank holiday pay rates for staff, despite promises made by councilors when the company was formed that there would be no wage cuts.
The union, which represents the 400 employees directly affected by the changes, is now calling on Tricuro’s three local authority owners to enter negotiations involving ACAS, in an attempt to solve the dispute.
UNISON South West head of local government Gavin Brooks said: “When Tricuro was set up last year, care staff were promised that the transfer from the councils wouldn’t mean any loss in pay. Now, barely 12 months on, it is trying to break this promise.
“To make matters worse, Tricuro managers have been waving P45s at these staff, threatening them with the sack if they refuse to agree to the changes.
“Tricuro staff work long hours looking after vulnerable elderly and disabled people across the county. They deserve better than to be intimidated in this way. These low-paid workers rely on the extra cash they get for working unsocial hours to make ends meet.”
Picture (c) Nick Answell.