"In recent weeks, the St Monica Trust has been subjected to a campaign of misinformation regarding the proposed restructure of our care homes.
"The Trust is a local charity and the world we are now operating in is very different to the one of two years ago.
"The pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the UK’s health and social care sector, as does the nationwide social care recruitment crisis.
"The proposals that are currently under consideration aim to deliver consistency in the ways of working across all of the Trust’s care homes, improve recruitment and attract new workers into the social care sector.
"This will also help fulfil our ongoing commitment for the St Monica Trust to be a real living wage employer, while offering a package of enhancements that exceed the industry standards for the health and social care sector.
"We believe this is necessary to ready ourselves for the many challenges that lie ahead for the social care sector as a whole, as well as enhancing the experience of living in our care homes for our residents and their loved-ones.
"Whilst we acknowledge that a trade union is within their rights to canvas for strike action, it is disappointing they have chosen to escalate the situation at this point in the consultation process.
"Through their news release, the trade union references a framework which the Trust is legally-bound to follow to ensure that any proposed changes are agreed in a fair and transparent way.
"To be clear, our intention is not to “fire and rehire”, but to reach agreement with our care home colleagues on the best way forward.
"Consultations between the Trust and our care home colleagues regarding the proposed changes are ongoing and, from listening to our teams, we have amended the initial proposal to include a form of pay protection.
"To date, approximately two thirds of respondents have accepted the proposed changes, with the remainder seeking further clarification, which we hope will address any remaining concerns.
"We would like to reassure our care home colleagues that they are all valued, and that the Trust is committed to working together with all parties involved, to jointly agree the most appropriate way forward."
David Williams, Chief Executive of the St Monica Trust