Norwood pay cuts deal

By Jessica Elgot, May 5, 2011

Care staff at Norwood have finally agreed a deal with management on pay cuts after months of talks.

Staff voted to accept proposals negotiated by Unite representatives and have signed contracts agreeing to the reductions.

"Many of the staff were resigned to having their pay cut," said Unite's Jamie Major. "The turnout [for the ballot] was low, but there wasn't much of a 'no' campaign. We are pleased we have reached a deal but the reality is that the staff will still have a significant drop in wages." The deal offers a smaller wage cut to residential care staff than Norwood originally proposed, with the cuts being made over four years rather than one.

An earlier meeting between Norwood and Unite broke up in acrimony after three minutes, but the parties thrashed out a deal at the beginning of last month.

The charity lost £4 million in funding from local authority budget cuts and must make savings of £3 million through salary reductions, head office redundancies and efficiency savings. Unite has asked to monitor the charity's accounts.

Norwood chief executive Norma Brier said: "We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement. We understand how difficult the last few months have been, particularly for our dedicated frontline staff, and we would like to thank them, and all those affected, for their ongoing commitment to Norwood."

Last updated: 1:14pm, May 5 2011