Care Worker Pay Cut Plan Set For Probe

A company planning to slash care workers’ pay refused to answer questions at a council meeting. Now a band of councillors is preparing to place the controversial plans – which would result in almost 100 former council workers having their wages slashed – under the microscope.

As reported in the Islington Gazette, about 80 employees of health and social care company Care UK are facing pay cuts of up to 50 per cent.

The staff members, who work at elderly care homes and day centres in Muriel Street and Carnegie Street, Islington, and Highbury New Park, Highbury, were transferred from Islington Council to Care UK after the company won the contract.

Care UK wants to bring the ex-council employees’ wages in line with those of their own staff and is offering an average of £12,000 compensation.

Labour councillor Paul Convery asked Care UK to speak about their plans at a performance review committee meeting. Councillor Convery, the committee chairman, said: “The Liberal Democrat administration has given Care UK the contract to run a vital service looking after Islington’s most vulnerable residents. We want to understand why such drastic cuts in pay and conditions are necessary.”

Councillor Convery said that the committee will be looking into how the plans came about and what the council’s own role has been. He added: “What will the impact be on the services if you have a lower paid workforce? There is a risk that the quality of care will decline.”

A spokesman for Care UK, which last year posted pre-tax profits of £5.6million, said it did not go to the meeting because “it is council business and people from the council are fully briefed”. He added: “The reason we are proposing to introduce the changes relates to the desire of the council to reduce the operating costs associated with the ongoing provision of the services.