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Date: Mon 24 June 2013

Strike ballot over plans to axe 155 community care jobs and slash salaries

UNISON members employed by Cornerstone Community Care in the West of Scotland are being balloted on industrial action following proposals to cut 155 support workers jobs.

Cornerstone has said that those who are unsuccessful in securing their own jobs will be demoted to a support assistant role and see their salaries slashed by £2,000 - £3,000.

Support workers employed by Cornerstone Community Care provide quality care services to vulnerable adults in our communities.

Mark Clifford, UNISON Regional Organiser, said: “These are draconian and unnecessary cuts. Our members, many of whom have given years of loyal and dedicated service, are outraged at the proposed job losses and a whopping £2,000 - £3,000 slashing of salaries for those who are demoted.”

Despite the organisation seeing a surplus of approx £375,000 last year, Cornerstone claims it cannot sustain the current levels of support workers. It also claims that the need to reduce the numbers is driven by the self directed support agenda and service users’ care needs.

UNISON does not believe a coherent business case has been put forward and that other options are available which would see the current staff levels maintained.

Mark added: “UNISON has been left with no alternative but to ballot our members for industrial action.

“We have during our negotiations consistently requested that Cornerstone halt the changes and return to the negotiating table and embark on a more meaningful and constructive dialogue. Our members should not be held to ransom by the employer pushing ahead with the proposals come what may.

“They already face financial hardship as a result of an economic crisis brought about by the rich and greedy.

“Industrial action is always a last resort and we are always prepared to restart negotiations but this can only be achieved if there is a level playing field.

“We would urge the Cornerstone Community Care Board and the Chief Executive to halt the process and explore with UNISON a resolution to this dispute.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. UNISON is Scotland’s largest trade union representing 160,000 members working in public services in Scotland, including many in the community and voluntary sector.

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