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Unison goes to council in fight for care homes

Workers fight to save Leeds's last three dementia homes

Trade unionists will launch a campaign tomorrow against the closure of three Leeds care homes.

Leeds City Council wants to shut the city's last three council-run care homes for dementia sufferers.

But public service union Unison says hundreds of jobs are at risk and it is to campaign against the proposals.

Unison regional organiser Dean Harper said the services provided by the council were recognised as being outstanding.

"These services to some of the most vulnerable people in the city are currently provided by excellent, loyal and experienced staff," he said.

"We have seen elsewhere what happens when such services are sold off to companies who increase shareholder profits by slashing pay and conditions which drive away skilled and dedicated staff."

The campaign begins with a protest rally tomorrow outside Leeds Civic Hall at noon before activists move into the council's executive board meeting at 1pm.

"We understand the enormity of the government's massive cuts to local authority budgets but we do not believe this is the way to go about managing these cuts," said Mr Harper.

The campaigners believe that the council has other options available and has already suggested a service review of adult social care in order to find more efficient service delivery methods.

The council says the closures would save £4 million. By the end of the year the council will have lost 43 per cent of its budget due to government cuts.

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