Tuesday, 22 May 2012

UNISON challenges Glasgow’s councillors over immediate breaches of manifesto pledges

Tuesday 22 May 2012

UNISON has today written to Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, charging the Labour-led council of breaching key manifesto pledges within days of being elected.

Labour fought the elections on a manifesto which promised job creation and fairer pay, however, the union has criticised the council for forcing through redundancies and pay cuts to workers who provide services and support to the most vulnerable in the city.

UNISON has long been raising concerns about Glasgow City Council’s personalisation agenda for social care and has been working with service users, carers, families and campaigning groups in the Glasgow Personalisation Network to highlight these. UNISON believes that the personalisation and transformation of social care has been introduced without adequate funding, with the focus being on reducing the cost of supporting individuals rather than genuinely giving people greater control and support to transform their lives.

The council’s latest actions involve requiring providers of social care services to cut their hourly rate in order to get on to the council’s ‘framework’ and thus be allowed to continue to provide services funded by the council. This has led to a rash of redundancies and pay cuts being embarked on by voluntary organisations such as the Mungo Foundation, Glasgow Association for Mental Health and the Richmond Fellowship Scotland.

Simon Macfarlane, UNISON’s Regional Organiser, said: “We are seeing a wholesale onslaught against our members working in social care in Glasgow with jobs, pay and conditions all being cut.

“The situation has been grim for a while, but the last few weeks have seen this deteriorate markedly due to the council’s overt pressure on providers to cut hourly rates. The whole sector is being demoralised and deskilled and our members are at breaking point, they want to maintain the quality of care and support but in this climate it is not possible. 

“Our members are committed to providing service users and their families with the best possible service and they are not willing to be exploited any longer. If the Labour council doesn’t act on its new mandate to stop these cuts then they are going to see significant unrest and disruption in social care and the blame for this will be laid squarely where it belongs - at their feet.”


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