Social Services – Children and Adults

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2005 Local Government Service Group Conference
25 February 2005
Carried as Amended

Conference reaffirms its commitment to improved social services for users and carers and to respond positively to new government initiatives based on real consultation when they are well thought out and properly funded.

However, Conference believes that Ministers have convinced themselves that only radical change will achieve that improvement in initiatives such as Every Child Matters, the new Green Paper on the future of adult services in England and in Scotland the consultation on the new social care workforce 2005-2010. It is clear that there will be no extra funding to support “Every Child Matters” and that workforce remodelling is seen as an efficiency move, rather than a means to career progression and higher pay. It is also clear that any new staff are seen as coming from external providers.

Those who work to deliver services, while politicians endlessly restructure the organisations which employ them, are fed up with chaos and underfunding. We welcome the UK Government’s admission that inspection and regulation have been heavy handed and intrusive, but we demand that the sort of changes proposed by CSCI and OFSTED, amongst others, must not be driven through at the expense of the staff who have done a difficult job well while politicians have been busy changing their minds.

We support the principle of registration for all social care staff and welcome the willingness of the care councils in all four countries to enter into a dialogue with UNISON. We regret that neither the administrations nor the employers have been willing to take on the burden of funding the registration machinery.

Conference calls on :

1)All UK administrations to ensure that legislation is in place to deal with the two-tier workforce in care, including “spot purchasing”

2)All administrations and council employers to face up to their responsibility by paying a fair wage to the staff involved in care work by implementing pay and grading reviews and by refusing to commission services from external bodies who will not offer staff decent pay and conditions

3)UK administrations to boost funding levels to allow councils to meet these two objectives and to provide high quality services

4)The SGE to continue to campaign to retain national bargaining, in-house services and protection for all staff facing transfer to new providers

5)UNISON to submit claims to local government employers and other social care providers to pay the registration fees of social care staff