Aspire Living have this morning responded to a press released issued by UNISON yesterday that stated that more than 300 care staff working with disabled adults across the West Midlands had been threatened with the sack by their employer Aspire Living.
A spokesperson for Aspire Living said:
“We are surprised and rather saddened to hear the scare stories being made about our staff. We are in a process of consultation with our workforce about a number of changes; absolutely no redundancies have been announced and nor will any be announced; nor is there any proposal to reduce staff pensions
“The consultation will actually provide staff with more career opportunities and we are creating 18 new roles in the New Year. We need more staff, not fewer, to be able to provide our charitable services
“In fact, the majority of our staff will see their pay rise by at least 3% and this is likely to be backdated. This comes on top of a pay increase last April for the majority of our support workers. Our consultation has been extended in to the new year to provide staff with more opportunity to talk with us and we have been pleased and impressed to see the level of engagement from them and from their employee consultative council representatives. There will be some changes of course to terms and conditions, but this will enable us to make better use of our limited charitable resources across the whole workforce.
“This is not therefore a gloom and doom story. We are investing in our staff, providing pay increases and greater career opportunities for the majority during these very tough times.”
UNISON Press Release:
The frontline staff who work across the counties of Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford have been told they could be out of a job by Christmas unless they agree to substantial changes to their contracts, says UNISON.
Aspire Living, a charity providing care services to local councils, wants to cut the annual leave, sick pay, and overtime of its workforce, which would see low-paid care staff losing out financially, says UNISON.
The new contract Aspire wants to impose on its staff also contains a clause allowing the employer to lower pension provision should it wish in the future.
UNISON West Midlands regional organiser Ray Salmon said: “There’s already a crisis in social care. Many services are struggling to deliver as they simply can’t recruit enough staff.
“This is no way to treat care workers who have given their all during the pandemic. Cruel cuts such as these threatened by Aspire would be outrageous at any time. But to do so now after everything they have done is beyond breath-taking”.
“Aspire seems to have forgotten that only a few months ago the entire country was applauding the efforts of all key workers. This is not the time to be treating dedicated care staff with such contempt.
“If the bullying tactics at Aspire succeed, everyone will be expected to work longer for less. Long-serving care staff could see their retirement plans ruined. Many others may choose to leave for jobs elsewhere.
“Staff are distraught at the impact the changes could have on the many vulnerable adults so reliant on the care provided. The charity must see sense and think again.”