Union says 'tide is turning' as care staff reject charity’s pay offer

05 Nov 2018 News

Care workers at Scottish charity Cornerstone have voted by 92 per cent to reject a pay offer from their employer.

Workers’ union Unison said it has never before seen such strength of feeling among its members in the charity sector.

The charity, based in Aberdeen, provides services to people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism and dementia throughout Scotland.

It recently introduced its “Local Cornerstone” initiative which will see some carers taking on management responsibilities, and subsequently offered a new pay deal to workers.

However, last week the union balloted its members, who voted to reject the offer by 92 per cent.

The union has called for:

  • A 3 per cent pay rise for staff who are not eligible for the Scottish Living Wage (not 1 per cent as proposed by Cornerstone)
  • Pay for sleep-in shift workers at the Scottish Living Wage, currently £8.75, backdated to 1 April 2018 (not October as proposed by Cornerstone)
  • Pay £12 per hour for all carers undertaking management responsibilities (not £10.10 per hour as proposed by Cornerstone)

It has also called for an improvement to sick pay and a commitment to no compulsory redundancies.

Deborah Clarke, Unison’s regional organiser, described the ballot result as “an amazing show of strength by a predominantly female workforce” and said it “shows the tide is turning”.

She said: “Employers can no longer expect to get cheap labour on the backs of low-paid women.

“Cornerstone says it believes in fair work, so it beggars belief that they are refusing to engage with their staff on fair pay.

“Cornerstone needs to listen to their dedicated and exceptional workforce and get back around the negotiating table and deliver a fair pay deal for staff.”

The charity has been contacted for comment.

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