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Care home staff take to picket line over ‘fire and re-hire’ claim

Workers plan more strike days at St Monica Trust care homes, as long-serving staff face salary cuts of more than £3,000 a year

Workers plan more strike days at St Monica Trust care homes as long-serving staff face salary cuts of more than £3,000 a year

Nurses and care workers employed by a care provider have embarked on a series of strikes after claiming bosses threatened to sack them unless they accepted a pay cut.

Scores of staff who work for Bristol-based St Monica Trust took to the picket line in the first three days of protests planned outside four of its care homes in Bristol and Somerset.

Unison criticises St Monica Trust’s ‘fire and re-hire’ strategy

According to Unison, the most experienced and long-serving staff are facing huge cuts in

Workers plan more strike days at St Monica Trust care homes as long-serving staff face salary cuts of more than £3,000 a year

St Monica Trust care home staff on the picket line holding a Unison banner
Staff at St Monica Trust care homes on the picket line

Nurses and care workers employed by a care provider have embarked on a series of strikes after claiming bosses threatened to sack them unless they accepted a pay cut.

Scores of staff who work for Bristol-based St Monica Trust took to the picket line in the first three days of protests planned outside four of its care homes in Bristol and Somerset.

Unison criticises St Monica Trust’s ‘fire and re-hire’ strategy

According to Unison, the most experienced and long-serving staff are facing huge cuts in salary that will see some lose more than £3,000 a year.

Senior care workers at the not-for-profit provider are to have their weekend pay rates cut by 21%, while other staff face a 10% pay cut, as part of what Unison described as a ‘fire and re-hire’ strategy.

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: ‘Staff are taking the difficult decision to strike because they have no options left. Despite building wonderful relationships with residents and their families, dedicated employees are being forced out the door.’

Staff are also facing cuts to sick pay and reductions in working hours, it is claimed. Strike action began on Wednesday 29 June and continued on 2 and 5 July, with more protests planned for 10 and 11 July.

St Monica Trust said it was making changes in an effort to ensure consistent ways of working at its care homes, including ensuring all nurses got paid breaks, improving recruitment and attracting new workers.

The charity said staff had been consulted and most were in favour of proposals that would leave the majority better off.

Trust defends its proposals and calls for end to strike action

In a statement, chief executive David Williams admitted some roles would be more adversely affected than others, but he said those staff had two years’ pay protection to cover any loss of hours, pay and enhancements.

‘The proposals mean that 73% of our care home colleagues will be better off due to increases in their basic pay,’ he said.

‘All St Monica Trust colleagues were awarded a 4% pay rise as of April this year, which is far higher than the average increase for the health and social care sector.’

He maintained that strike action was only supported by 64 of more than 500 care home staff.

‘We hope that the remaining strike days will be called off by the union,’ he added.

The row comes amid a major recruitment crisis in the care sector, with many providers struggling to employ enough nurses and some offering cash incentives to attract staff.


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