Your Choice Barnet care workers prepare to strike over pay cuts next week

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Care workers will strike next week over plans to cut their pay by almost ten per cent.

Staff at Your Choice Barnet (YCB), which supports people with physical and learning disabilities, will walk out on Wednesday, June 18 after three days of unsuccessful negotiation talks.

In February 2012, Barnet Borough Council transferred learning disability and physical and sensory impairment services for adults to the local authority trading company, YCB – which says it needs to make the cuts to offset a deficit of £400,000.

But staff are unhappy about the plans which was reflected in strike ballot organised by Barnet Unison, which resulted in 100 per cent of participants voting to take action.

Barnet Unison has been leading the negotiations with YCB, with more talks to follow. But not happy with the outcome to date, staff have decided to take industrial action next Wednesday.

Unison branch secretary, John Burgess, said: “Your Choice Barnet say they have no choice as Barnet Council is only prepared to pay a set market rate for the support provided by YCB, but YCB is owned wholly by the council.

"Somewhere between the council and YCB there has to be a solution which doesn’t mean our members and the service users are used as football between the two paying for the problem.”

In response, YCB has issued a statement, which reads: “Whilst empathising with Unison, we are disappointed that after three constructive meetings to date the union has decided to issue a strike notice letter announcing the first day of industrial action on Wednesday 18 June.

“We are continuing our discussions with Unison with a further meeting on Friday 13 June in an attempt to minimise the impact on our vulnerable service users as well as their parents and carers who rely on the services we provide.”
 

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