The local authority trading company (LATC) Tricuro, set up by Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole councils to provide care for elderly and disabled people, has announced pay cuts for already low-paid staff. They could lose up to £2,600 per year each.
Tricuro wants to make cuts to weekend and bank holiday pay rates, despite promises from them when the LATC was formed that there would be no pay cuts.
Care staff staged a ‘silent protest’ outside Dorchester’s County Hall on 17 November. The dispute was raised at a full council meeting taking place on the same day.
Tricuro’s financial shortfall of £1.3m was caused by poor council planning. Their plan omitted important cost pressures such as future pay rises and increases in employers’ national insurance contributions.
Managers have allegedly been intimidating and threatening staff with the sack if they refuse to agree to the changes, yet Tricuro handed back £345,000 to council shareholders last year.
It’s a salutary lesson to council care staff here in West Sussex: LATCs are simply not the answer to address resource shortages in adults’ social care.
UNISON has called on the councils to join them in talks with ACAS to try to settle the dispute.
If you work in WSCC Provider Services you will be interested to read the West Sussex branch’s own research into LATCs across the country and the impact this has had on these essential council services.