Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Doncaster care workers start 21-day strike over pay

Care workers in Doncaster have started a further three weeks of industrial action as part of their long-running pay dispute with Care UK.

About 70 workers are taking part in this latest walkout, according to Unison.

The union is calling for wages to rise from £7 to the national living wage of £7.65 an hour. Members have already taken 48 days of action since February.

Care UK called the latest action "unnecessary and irresponsible".

The company bids for health and social care contracts from the NHS, and in Doncaster provides assisted living for people with learning disabilities in their homes.

'Love their jobs'

Jim Bell, of Unison, said workers had been forced to take action as Care UK was "flatly refusing to negotiate".

He said "Our members love their jobs and the people they care for but are being forced to look for work elsewhere just to survive.

"Their battle is not just for their own pay and conditions, it is to save a vital NHS service from privatised greed."

A spokesman for Care UK said the demand for a pay increase was "simply unaffordable".

He said: "Care UK's approach in Doncaster has protected all the jobs within the service at a time when it has been necessary to cut over 1,000 jobs within other council services in the city.

"It has also protected NHS final salary pension rights and future pay increments and made a transitional payment equivalent to 14 months difference in earnings to those who transferred from the previous provider."

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