Accept pay cuts or face redundancy, care staff told

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Social care staff at housing association Family Mosaic will be told to accept “massive” pay cuts or lose their jobs.

This is according to public sector union Unison, which said that the London- and Essex-based housing association intends to dismiss approximately 1,000 staff in its social care and support division unless workers accept cuts in their pay.

Unison said that the pay cuts will range from hundreds of pounds to almost £11,000 per year and if staff refuse to sign new contracts they will be sacked. Front line staff in general housing and care and support may also face an increase in working hours from 35 to 37.5 per week.

Family Mosaic has stated that the pay cuts are needed due to the impact of the Government’s austerity measures, which have led to a reduction in grant income for the firm’s care and support services. A spokesman said that almost 60% of Family Mosaic’s workforce would see no change or an improvement to their current terms and conditions and that no workers would see their pay decreased by more than £1,000 before April 2013.

But Unison have accused the housing association being “bullies” by refusing to back down on the cuts.

Essex-based Unison regional organiser Nick Bradley commented: “This is appalling and awful news for these staff. Family Mosaic management are acting like bullies of the worst kind. They have refused all requests not to go ahead with these cuts to pay, which will be devastating to the staff and their families.

“We know that some staff will not be able to survive on such cuts in their pay. It is notable that only the support staff and their local managers face these pay cuts while the senior management team continue to receive comfortable salaries and benefits without cuts.”

However, Brendan Sarsfield, chief executive of Family Mosaic, defended the move, stating that the changes were needed in order to protect jobs.

“We value our staff highly, they are incredibly dedicated and committed to the people that we support. We want to continue to provide high quality services and support but had recognised that a terms and conditions review was essential if we were to protect jobs and services, long-term.

“Even after these changes, we will still have a very competitive package to offer existing and new staff.”

Unison is considering both strike action and legal action against Family Mosaic.

Employers can find information on how to work with trade unions and avoid industrial action on XpertHR.

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