UNISON, Britain’s largest public sector union, has reacted angrily to the decision of social care provider Anheddau Cyf, to dismiss its entire staff of 300 people and re-engage them only if they accept swingieng cuts to their terms and conditions.
Anheddau, which supports adults within their communities for Gwynedd, Anglesey, Conwy and Denbighshire Councils, has a budget shortfall. This is because the costs of implementing the national living wage and national minimum wage have not been met by the commissioning councils.
UNISON and Anheddau have been in consultations over how they can continue to provide care to the most vulnerable in society whilst the funding for such care falls below the critical level. Anheddau rejected all of UNISON’s suggestions and has decided to dismiss their staff.
UNISON repeatedly offered to go with Anheddau to lobby the Councils who buy the service, MPs, AMs and Ministers to try and get more funding to at least cover the cost of the service but these offers were rejected or ignored by Anheddau.
Geoff Edkins, UNISON Cymru Wales regional organiser said,
“It is bitterly ironic that on the day the Welsh Government announced increased funding for social care, Anheddau chose to dismiss its staff providing that care and offer to re-engage them on greatly inferior terms and conditions.
“Our members provide 24 hour care, 7 days a week for vulnerable adults in the community. It is not fair that Anheddau expects its own staff to fund the vital care service they provide with an attack on their terms and conditions. Whilst the financial crisis was not of Anheddau’s making, dismissing staff who cannot afford to agree these cuts is not the right way to save the service.”
UNISON has lodged a formal dispute with Anheddau and asked them to return to the negotiating table. Additionally the Union has written to Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford AM to raise their concerns and ask for his support. UNISON is consulting members over action they wish to take to protect their jobs and the essential service they provide.