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Statement from UNISON Cornerstone Stewards on pay offer

Sent of behalf of UNISON Cornerstone Stewards

We have been made aware of the email from Edel Harris, CEO to all staff in relation to Cornerstone’s full and final pay offer and our ballot papers posted this week.

Unsurprisingly your UNISON stewards has been inundated with calls from members commenting on the email and how it differs from our members experiences on the ground who feel that Local Cornerstone is only delivering benefits to the senior management team rather than you the hard working staff or the people we support.

Despite the comments made by Edel Harris, members can be assured that all our communications can be substantiated and backed up with hard facts. For the avoidance of doubt UNISON will produce a full response that supports the views of our members and this will be available next week. We are happy to publicly debate any of the issues raised by Edel at any time.

It is clear to the UNISON stewards that Cornerstone do not want to be challenged on their decisions or treat elected UNISON staff representatives as equals at the negotiating table. Edel does not want to acknowledge that we are simply relaying to Cornerstone what our members are telling us in response to Cornerstones actions. While Edel travels the world telling everyone how successful Local Cornerstone is, our members tell us that the reality is far different. Our members tell us that Edel should concentrate on the lack of IT and the regular failures, the lack of decent pay for LCAST teams and frontline staff and the lack of appropriate training and support. Without these measures in place, it makes it increasingly difficult for our members to continue to deliver exceptional outcomes for the people we support. It is not UNISON who is creating a wedge between Senior Management and staff; it is Senior Managements change of approach that has created the wedge.

When faced with such differing points of view, our long standing UNISON members will know who has a track record of telling the truth on these matters. For the increasing number of new members who are joining UNISON, we will take one issue for now to task to illustrate why staff can rely on communications from UNISON as being 100% accurate. Take for example the suggestion that UNISON is trying to create a wedge between staff and senior management. UNISON members work hard every day for Cornerstone to deliver the very best service they possibly can, whether it’s in Central Services, local management, or providing direct care to the people they support.

Many of our members have given years to Cornerstone yet we are aware a number of our members still rely on foodbanks on a regular basis due to the poor levels of pay. They rightly ask us why Edel is happy to accept a salary in excess of £100,000 per year when so many of her staff are on less than £10 per hour. To add insult to injury, members who follow Edel on Twitter are angry when they see that she is happy to boast about treating a member of her Senior Management team to a 10 year anniversary dinner with sea bass and wine. How many of our support workers have been treated to a dinner of sea bass and wine for working 10 years at Cornerstone?

But Edel has one thing right – UNISON do not have these issues in other employers. Perhaps Cornerstone staff should ask themselves why that is?

Look out for further correspondence next week – and in the meantime return your ballot papers! Vote to Reject!

Jamie Kelly                                        – Cornerstone UNISON Convenor

Mags McHenry                                  – Senior UNISON Steward 

Kevin McConnachie                         – Senior UNISON Steward

Brenda Richmond     – UNISON Steward             Audrey McCabe – UNISON Steward

John Frew                  – UNISON Steward               Karen Morrison – UNISON Steward

Scott Broadley           – UNISON Steward              Patrick Lee – UNISON Steward

Benson Mugyenyi      – UNISON Steward               Margaret Percy – UNISON Steward

Charles Keown          – UNISON Steward