Suffolk’s Leading Lives staff are in talks over pay and conditions

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Union bosses say that plans to change conditions for social care workers in Suffolk will mean staff leaving and damage to the quality of care for vulnerable people.

Talks are being held with staff at Leading Lives over plans to change working conditions and cutback sick pay and premium pay rates for weekend working.

Unison, which represents some of the 500 people who work for the social enterprise, says the plans could endanger the quality of care for 1,500 vulnerable people as staff leave to work elsewhere, It also says this will increase the bill for agency staff.

Leading Lives, which is owned by its employees, says it needs to remain competitive in a a social care market place which is under increasing financial pressure,

“We are not taking an axe to pay and conditions but consulting with our workforce. This is about protecting the future of our employee owned co-operative, We want to ensure we can continue to provide support for some of Suffolk’s most vulnerable adults against a backdrop of increasing austerity,” said Tony Carr, chief executive.

But Unison’s Leon Kilbourn said members felt ‘betrayed and angry.’