Norwood pay cut talks resume

By Jessica Elgot, April 7, 2011

A union official involved in resumed negotiations with Norwood over salary cuts for staff says the outcome is "bittersweet".

Unite representative Jamie Major said the union had negotiated improved terms for the front-line care staff who are having their salary reduced as part of Norwood measures to compensate for £4 million in lost local authority funding.

The last meeting between the charity and Unite ended after just three minutes when union team walked out. More than 140 staff members signed a collective grievance against Norwood.

This week's talks were more productive and staff will now vote on the revised proposals.

"There's no jubilation," Mr Major said. "This is damage limitation but there have been really significant steps forward. It's still going to mean a pay cut for Norwood staff, which will hit them hard, but we feel we've been able to mitigate the original proposals quite considerably."

The potential deal would give residential care staff 40p per hour more than under Norwood's original offer. Care home managers would receive at least £700 more annually than under the previous plan. Supported living care staff would get a one-off payment of £700.

Mr Major added that Unite would monitor Norwood's accounts "to make sure no more cuts are being made than are necessary". The charity and the union had already agreed that pay cuts would be spread over four years.

A Norwood spokesman described the latest talks as "very positive. However, we cannot comment further until all formal processes have been completed."

Last updated: 1:58pm, April 7 2011