Date: Thursday 4 September 2008
Edinburgh's social work managers
call for action against 'unsafe' cuts
A packed meeting of UNISON members
who manage front-line child protection services
in Edinburgh last night (Wed 3 Sept) has
unanimously called on their union to suspend talks
with the council and mount action against cuts announced
last week by the council.
The managers slammed the council's
consultation as a sham and warned that the cuts
would be 'unsafe' for children and for the social
workers working with them.
"Management will say they have
consulted staff but I challenge them to identify
how the views of people with a collective experience
of over 400 years in social work - with all the
knowledge and skills that go with that - have been
really taken into account", said Tom Connolly,
UNISON Edinburgh Service Conditions Officer.
"When a message like this comes
from the key front-line managers whose responsibility
it is to ensure safety for children, the council
must sit up and take notice. It is now time for
the council to drop the 'spin' and really listen
to these staff.
"They were absolutely clear that,
behind the public message that the reorganisation
would improve services, the stark reality was that
it was a plain and simple cut which would reduce
staff, dangerously increase workloads and take away
the crucial access for front line staff to expert
guidance and assistance in supporting the most vulnerable
children", added Mr Connolly.
The union has now called a meeting
of all front-line children's social work services
for Monday 8 September 2008 where it will report
back on options for action and seek a further mandate
for its members.
Note for editors: The City
of Edinburgh's Education Children and Families Committee
has agreed cuts that will mean that 73 per cent
reduction in social work professional front-line
and middle managers. Alongside this cut and with
no additional staff, the committee demanded that
around 180 children who do not have a social worker
due to lack of resources, should now be allocated
a social worker.
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