STAFF working with disabled people are facing changes to their pay and conditions.

Bosses at Wilf Ward Family Trust, in Pickering, have informed staff they are reviewing their pay scales, and the terms and conditions offered to all staff because their “relatively strong position” in the market is “gradually being eroded”.

In a letter sent to employees and seen by The Press, the company is proposing to give staff currently on £6.71 an hour a pay increase to £7.11 - 54p below the living wage, but introduce new job roles, pay all waking night staff £7.95, remove enhanced payments for bank holidays and reduce their sick pay.

The letter said: “In the short term it is clear that the changes being proposed will cost more.

“It is expected once the changes have been embedded across the organisation they will actually contribute to the Trust and save money.

“Should these savings be significant then that will allow the Board to consider further pay awards in the future. Should they not prove to be significant or indeed not take place at all, then it is unlikely that any pay award can be achieved in the next few years.

One disgruntled relative of a member of staff, who declined to be named, said: “They are doing a great job but are being kicked in the backside by this.

“The majority of the work is in houses based in York with two to five people living in there, and the staff help them.”

The service is set to begin a series of meetings throughout the region to discuss the proposed changes.

The trust was formed in 1989 by Wilf Ward and his wife, Phyllis, when they set up a short break service for people with disabilities.

The group now provides a range of services, including personal care at home, support in the community, residential support and short breaks.

A spokeswoman for the trust said: “We are proposing some changes to pay and conditions, and meeting with staff in the area we cover, but the formal consultation hasn’t even started.

“We are hoping consultation will start in early October.”