Home carers face pay cuts on Anglesey

HOME carers face pay cuts as a local authority reduces the money paid to private firms looking after the most vulnerable members of society.

Cash-strapped Anglesey council is trying to control a £1m overspend in social services as it faces up to a financial black-hole.

Care chiefs have now cut the money they pay private firms – reducing payments per hour from £15.35 to £14.35.

Anglesey council said the cuts now put them in line with other local authorities.

One of the companies affected is Cymorth Llaw, which employs 90 people on Anglesey in domiciliary care.

They saved staff from the brunt of the cut, absorbing 90% of the reduction.

Staff will have 10p taken off their hourly rates – losing £3.70 a week on a 37-hour contract.

Ken Hogg, a director from Cymorth Llaw, which employs 180 people in total, said they received one month’s notice of the change.

He said: “As a company we have absorbed 90% of this cut but we have asked staff to take a 10p per hour reduction in their pay.

“Extra hours will be available for this money to be made up.

“I think we have been very fair to staff by taking the brunt of the reduction.

“The 10p reduction for staff will not come into place for three months and we are now consulting with staff, who are free to speak to us with any concerns.”

He added: “We want to reassure our service users that the quality of the service we provide will not be affected.”

Craig Hogg, also a director, added: “Cymorth Llaw has an excellent working relationship with Anglesey County Council and we are very sympathetic to the situation they now find themselves in.

“The difficult economic climate we as a nation find ourselves in is the reality we must all now face up to.

“We as a company have adjusted where appropriate.”

The cut will see the lowest rate paid to care staff reduced from £6.50 to £6.40.

Anglesey’s Director of Community Gwen Carrington said: “As part of the authority’s efficiency and effectiveness programme, we have recently renegotiated our contracts with independent sector domiciliary providers in order to ensure a sustainable model more in line with other authorities.

“This new model will enable the local authority to further expand the volume of business it does with the independent agencies as we strive to support more adults to remain in their own homes.

“We have informed all private domiciliary care providers, including Cymorth Llaw, that they will be paid a standard hourly rate for the remainder of the 2012/13 financial year, in order to ensure fairness, transparency and consistency across the board.”