A period of rolling strike action will hit care firm Sirona throughout June after UNISON today announced the dates care workers will walk out.
More than one hundred care workers will go on strike for 24 hours on 6 June, followed by a series of shorter walkouts every other day for the rest of the month.
The low-paid care workers have been driven to take action by plans for a pay cut from Sirona management. Bosses plan to make staff work extra shifts for free, or see their wages fall.
Sirona is £170,000 short after B&NES cut its funding in 2017, but council leaders have refused to intervene to help solve the problem. In an email to UNISON, council leader Tim Warren claimed that the pay cut for Sirona employees would “bring them in line” with other care workers.
UNISON organiser John Drake said:
“The care workers have been left with no choice but to go on strike. We’ve negotiated with Sirona for months, but the pay cut is still on the table. These staff cannot afford to take a pay cut. Most of them are women, doing the lion’s share of caring in their own homes as well. Extra shifts are unworkable.
“B&NES created Sirona, it pays the firm to provide care services, and it cut Sirona’s funding last year. Council leaders need to take responsibility so we can find a way to avert the strike. It’s not acceptable for B&NES leaders to claim this pay cut is justified, and we’re asking members of the public to write to their councillors telling them just that.
“There’s two weeks to go before this strike starts. That’s two weeks for B&NES and Sirona to find a way forward that doesn’t mean cutting the pay of staff who do essential work. Last year the council found £3.4 million to cover its overspends. I think they can find less than one twentieth of that to help the care workers now.”
- The first Sirona strike is planned from 0800 6 June to 0800 on 7 June. Details of opportunities to come along and support the strikers will be publicised soon.
- Thereafter strikes will take place for two hours ever other day, throughout the rest of June.
- We are asking UNISON branches and other supportive organisations to donate to the Sirona hardship fund. If you would like to make a contribution email firstname.lastname@example.org