Second industrial action ballot at Look Ahead Care & Support
Hackney services balloted on pay
An earlier protest by Unite members in Look Ahead
A second group of workers in Look Ahead Care and Support are being balloted for industrial action by Unite. Workers in Hackney are unhappy at managements pay offer; an earlier report on this site details the concerns Look Ahead staff in Brent see here
Other care providers tell Unite that Look Ahead leads the ‘race to the bottom’ by putting in cheap bids for services and cutting pay. This has the effect of undermining service standards in the sector. Look Ahead continues to enjoy large surpluses (2013/14: £2.4 million) and could clearly afford considerably bigger pay rises for its staff. Meanwhile the Chief Executive received a 7.7% pay rise.
Look Ahead management claim that to pay a decent increase would threaten their competitive position. However, employees at St Mungos Broadway have recently been awarded a 2.2% increase while Centrepoint staff have been awarded a 2% rise. Last month One Housing Group workers received a £1500 non-consolidated award. Clearly a 1% award a Look Ahead will increase the gap between Look Ahead staff and those working for other organisations. It is also likely to fall well below the rate of inflation over the year – Citybank for example predict that RPI will reach 3% by March 2016.
To add insult to injury the miserly 1% pay award is being taken away from Hackney staff as a result of the companies’ reduction in sleep-in pay. Outrageously this reduction was introduced without consultation or agreement. Incredibly, Look Ahead have asked some staff to pay back the difference between the old sleep in rates and the new rates for shifts previously worked!
We understand that responsible providers are concerned at the impact of Look Ahead on pay and service standards in the sector. Unite invites them to talk to us about agreeing standards in the sector as a protection against the race to the bottom. See here for Unite’s material on sector standards. We also invite responsible local authorities to adopt responsible procurement practices – see here for Unites campaign for a Fair Deal for Local Government.
Brent Look Ahead Unite members balloted
Unite members in Brent look Ahead are also being balloted – see here
Brent residents can contact their councillor to express concern at the role of Look Ahead since taking over the service – follow a link to find your councillor here