Cornwall

Cornwall adult social care provision wage dispute

A dispute has broken out in Cornwall over the wages for carers working in adult social care in the county

Provides say they are "furious" Cornwall Council has told them to make savings of £4m, resulting in a possible pay cut of up to 50% for employees.

But the council said it has "not cut the budget" nor told organisations to reduce pay.

It said it provided the organisations with "budgetary advice" to ensure it was getting value for money.

'Invite abuse in'

Organisations including Mencap and the Brandon Trust provide the county's service and say savings of £4m would translate to pay cuts of between 25 and 50% for each member of staff.

Stuart Roden from Unison said: "They're absolutely furious. Although the level of staff will remain the same, clearly a lot of those staff are going to be disgruntled.

"They're going to leave. It's going to mean that new inexperienced staff on minimum wage will be brought in.

"We've seen where you have poor quality training, poorly paid staff on poor conditions you almost invite abuse to come in."

In a statement Brandon Trust said it was in "consultation" with unions over pay and letters would be sent to employees with "individual offers".

It said: "Brandon Trust is determined to reach an agreement with our workforce that will ensure continuing employment affordable to the people of Cornwall."

'Household budget'

Cornwall Council said that rather than cutting the budget it had "frozen" it for the coming year.

Armand Toms, head of adult social care in the county said: "If the department was commissioning a very similar service today, it would be a reduced amount of what we're paying these people, therefore we're getting a comparable service for that much less.

"All we've asked these providers do is come down to the level that we could purchase that today.

"In these difficult times we must provide as much care with the budget that we've got. That is what you would do with your own household budget."

The Conservative-Independent-run authority is planning to save £110m over four years

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