More betrayal as Dorset councils now demand £300k contract discount

Price reduction to be paid for by cut in Tricuro staff wages

A pay cut imposed on staff at Dorset care company Tricuro has been used to take over £300,000 off the contract price paid by Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole Councils, despite the councils being handed £13m for social care in the budget last month.

An open letter to Dorset councillors as well as a report to the cabinet will be launched today (28.03.17) by UNISON

The report urges councillors to abandon the £300,000 cut they have demanded next year in the price they pay Tricuro, the care provider set up by Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset councils

The three councils are demanding a cut in the contract price despite the £7.4m budget boost to Dorset’s care funding and Bournemouth and Poole getting a boost of another £6.1m between them.

UNISON is calling on the Dorset to give a 1% increase in the price it pays Tricuro instead – a move that would enable the pay cut to be reversed immediately.

Dorset council bosses have been refusing to provide an annual uplift to the price they pay even though Tricuro is providing more services. The decision compounds the failure to include in the business plan costs that were known about before the company was launched. Instead, the councils are demanding a £300k cut in the price they pay Tricuro for the care services.

Internal documents seen by UNISON indicate that the contract price cut may be a device being used by the councils to reduce the corporation tax bill.

Over 800 of the 1500 employees at Tricuro had pay cut imposed on 10 March 2017. Some are losing over £100 per month.

UNISON national officer Pete Challis said

“When Tricuro was set up less than two years ago the councils promised staff there would be no changes to their terms and conditions.

“The betrayal has sent morale plummeting. Some of the experienced staff are leaving or have gone already. Others are seriously thinking about it because they feel they have been treated appallingly.

“As committed well trained staff leave they are replaced with inexperienced, untrained staff. Service quality suffers and care staff tell us that is what is already happening. They say that standards have dropped considerably, increasing the risk that a major incident will occur because of that loss of knowledge and experience and the increased use of untrained, inexperienced and agency staff.

“Local people don’t want their elderly relatives and loved ones being cared for by unhappy staff who have been let down. A fraction of the extra £13m the councils were handed in the budget would put matters right, boost morale, and honour the commitment councillors made at the outset.”


Further info

  • UNISON’s open letter to councillors is here
  • The report to cabinet is here