Aspire Living, a charity based in Hereford, have demanded 300 staff accept worse terms and conditions of employment or be sacked. These are the workers that we clapped for delivering care to vulnerable adults through the pandemic.
Many are paid the minimum wage and will face financial hardship with the loss of overtime payments on call payments, sick pay, a reduction in holiday pay and an extension in their working week.
UNISON, the UK’s largest union is fighting the cuts. UNISON are concerned about the safety of the service users in future as Aspire already struggle to employ staff and more will be forced to leave if the changes are forced through. The union is asking the regulator the CQC, local authorities and politicians to step in to prevent this from happening.
Although Aspire are a charity the services the staff work on are paid for by local authorities on a commercial basis. No charity money is raised to pay for them.
When Your Herefordshire contacted Aspire Living back in December they 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.”