‘The tide is turning’ says UNISON as Scottish care workers vote overwhelmingly to reject charity’s pay offer

UNISON members working at Scottish care charity, Cornerstone, have voted by a massive 92% to reject their employer’s pay offer in a consultative ballot.

These staff, mainly women, provide vital care and support to people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism and dementia across Scotland.

UNISON, Scotland’s largest union, says it has never before seen such strength of feeling among its members in the charity sector. It is calling on Cornerstone to get back around the table and negotiate a fair deal for the carers providing vital services to the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Deborah Clarke, UNISON regional organiser, said: “Today’s ballot result is an amazing show of strength by a predominantly female workforce and shows the tide is turning. Employers can no longer expect to get cheap labour on the backs of low-paid women.

“Cornerstone says it believes in fair work, so it beggars belief that they are refusing to engage with their staff on fair pay. Cornerstone needs to listen to their dedicated and exceptional workforce and get back around the negotiating table and deliver a fair pay deal for staff.”

UNISON recently carried out a staff survey among its members at Cornerstone – due to be published next week – which echo the ballot result, with 91% saying they don’t believe they are paid fairly for the roles they carry out.

Mike Kirby, UNISON’s Scottish Secretary, said: “Caring roles, which are carried out predominantly by women, remain chronically undervalued. Today’s ballot result shows that carers know they are worth more and are prepared to fight for the pay they deserve.

“Our carers carry out some of the most important roles in our communities and they need to be paid fairly for the vital services they deliver.”

Notes to editors
Cornerstone is a charity based in Aberdeen that provides vital services to people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism and dementia throughout Scotland. It has recently introduced a new initiative ‘Local Cornerstone’ which will see some carers taking on management responsibilities, and UNISON is demanding its members are paid fairly for this.

UNISON is calling for:
• 3% pay rise for staff not benefiting from the rise in the Scottish Living Wage (not 1% as proposed by Cornerstone)
• Pay for sleepovers at the Scottish Living Wage currently £8.75, backdated to 1 April 2018 (not October as proposed by Cornerstone)
• Pay £12 per hour for all carers undertaking management responsibilities (not £10.10 per hour as proposed by Cornerstone)
• Improvement to sick pay, to demonstrate their commitments to fair work terms and conditions.
• Commitment to no compulsory redundancies

For further information, please contact Deborah Clarke on 07538 101 225