The warning of possible widespread strike action by members of union Unite over downward pressure on pay for care and support workers should not be taken lightly
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However, as pay negotiations with provider One Housing Group have yet to conclude, it seems unlikely that this threat is imminent. As Unite suggests, the issue of cutting costs to ensure a viable and high quality care and support service is one which is being addressed by providers across the country. Employers want to ensure they can continue to bid for and win care and support contracts. Pressures on council budgets mean providers have no choice but to cut their margins and their overheads. What they are desperate to avoid, however, is going down the cost-cutting road which led to the scandalous scenes at the Winterbourne View care home for people with learning disabilities. If council commissioners were able to set minimum living wages as part of their contracts this would be a step in the right direction.