UNISON will receive compensation of £674,000 after the union settled an employment tribunal case against Somerset County Council.
UNISON argued the council had flouted the law by failing to properly inform and consult with union officials about the impact on 1,100 employees of privatising the county’s learning disability services.
When specialist company Discovery (part of the Dimensions Group Ltd) was awarded the learning disability contract in 2017, it rolled out a cost-cutting programme that led to a significant number of redundancies.
The remaining care, support and administrative staff were left worried their pay and conditions would be downgraded, or they could lose their jobs, says UNISON.
In the settlement agreed shortly after the hearing began, Somerset County Council agreed to pay UNISON £674,000, which will be used to compensate its affected members.
Dimensions has also agreed to meet with UNISON to prepare the ground for future pay talks.
UNISON South West regional secretary Joanne Kaye said:
“We’re happy to have secured a financial settlement but for UNISON this was never about the money.
“As a result of the agreement UNISON will now work with Dimensions to secure a better deal for staff.
“Our main aim has always been to ensure Somerset has quality, well-funded and sustainable services.”