Monday, 18 April 2011

STUC: There is a Better Way

The 114th STUC started with a host of speakers from civic society, campaigning groups, trade unions, disability groups, pensioners and front line service providers testified to the real effects of the ideological attacks on public services.

Many spoke of the inspiration and support from the trade union movement in fighting for rights, equality and education.

UNISON's Katrina Murray focussed on the sham of 'personalisation' which masquerades as giving people a say in their care but in reality is used to see how support packages can be cut.

"We get accused of 'producer interest'", said Katrina, "But we can't divorce the job from the people we meet in the context of the job".

"As professionals we want the people we work with to get the best and we all know of workers who go over the job description to make life better for people.

"What we are most concerned about, as the professionals who provide the services, is the way that service cuts are camouflaged as service innovation.

"We are very concerned about how the personalisation of social care is being driven at the moment".

Katrina warned of the history of cuts leading to commissioning for the lowest common denominator. Staff paid on the minimum wage. "Minumum service does not make for good quality service", said Katrina.

"Personalisation should be about benefitting someone. It should be about choice. It should be about input that people need.

"It should not just be about physical care but should be about social needs as well".

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