Council Blasts Wage Cuts by Borough Care Home Provider
Viridian accused of being insulting to staff and putting service quality at risk
Senior Labour Councillors in Ealing have expressed anger and dismay at plans by Viridian Housing who operate four care homes for the elderly in the borough to cut care staff pay.
According to the Labour group on the council all affected staff will be required to take a pay cut of between 5% and 12%, equating to a loss of between £870 and £2,500 per year.
Meanwhile, they say that the Chief Executive of Viridian, Nick Apetroaie, has awarded himself an 8.5% increase in his own 2015-16 salary bringing it to £162,844 higher than that of the Prime Minister but lower than the Chief Executive of Ealing Council.
Chief Executive of Viridian, Nick Apetroaie
Viridian Housing manages the Ealing Older Persons Care services based in four units across the borough (Sycamore Lodge, Martin House, Elm Lodge and Chestnut Lodge).
Viridian began consultation with all ‘Care and Housekeeping staff’ on ‘Significant changes to the PFI Terms and Conditions’ in October 2016. These proposals reportedly do not affect managers or any office support - it will only apply to the ‘low paid front line care and housekeeping staff’.
“If the Executives at Viridian have such difficulty in understanding the hard work that their staff put in on the front line of elderly care in Ealing then perhaps they should muck in for a few days and see just how valuable this work really is.
“The decision to implement large pay cuts is a disgrace and I call on Viridian to scrap these insulting and dangerous plans.”
Labour Cllr Hitesh Tailor, Cabinet Member for Health and Adults’ services, said, “I have met with Viridian to express my dismay and anger at these plans. Cutting the pay and conditions of those working tirelessly to look after our older people is insulting to those front line staff and devalues their roles, and which may put at risk the service quality to some of our most vulnerable residents. I urge Viridian to drop these plans.”
Matt Campion, Director of Operations for Viridian, said: “This is a difficult time in the care sector. As a result of financial pressures in the delivery of our Care service, Viridian is proposing to restructure the terms and conditions of carers and domestic staff contracts. We are currently in consultation with all staff affected. We will review all the feedback received through the consultation and then a decision will be made on how best to procedure with the restructure. In the meantime, we encourage all staff to provide us with feedback on the proposed changes. We are continuing to consult with colleagues and their representatives. We have also had a positive and constructive meeting with unions Unison and GMB. We have provided them with information regarding our proposals and we will be meeting again later this month.
December 1, 2016