Sirona care workers walk out as records reveal boss takes home more in pensions contributions than their salary

UNISON care workers at Sirona today take part in another 24-hour strike over plans to make them choose working extra shifts for free or taking a pay cut.

Today’s action takes places as it was revealed a Sirona director takes home more in pension contributions than a care worker earns in a year.

Records publicly available from Companies House show that in financial year 2016-2017 the highest paid director at Sirona received £154,138 in pay and Sirona’s contribution to their Pension Scheme was £17,332.

This is higher than the annual salary of the majority of care workers affected by the proposed new rotas that have seen workers walk out on strike through June and July.

Talks have been ongoing since the initial strike on 6 June between UNISON and Sirona and have failed to produce a settlement. The dispute centres on the need for Sirona to save an additional £170,000 and they decided to implement new rotas as a means of making up the shortfall.

UNISON has proposed an alternative to saving the money by lowering Sirona’s high spend on agency staff, a reduction in top management costs, and a small cash injection from the Better Care Fund. Sirona rejected the plan at a recent meeting and decided to press on with rota and pay changes.

UNISON regional organiser John Drake said: “We understand the pressure on Adult Social Care across the UK, but it is immoral that one of Sirona’s directors is paid more than the Prime Minister and they are proposing taking money away from the lowest paid in the organisation.

“An advert for an Extra Care Support Worker currently on the Sirona website shows it would take that worker over 12 years to earn the same as the highest paid director. It is time for B&NES Council, Sirona, the Clinical Commissioning Group, local members of Parliament to get together to seriously look at resolving this dispute.

“The 120 care workers taking strike action desperately want to be back at work, caring for the residents, professionally, compassionately and with dedication but are determined that they should not be the employees bearing the brunt of yet more financial shortfalls in the care sector generally and Sirona specifically.”

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