Campaign Against the Destruction
of Disabled Support Services
Barnet Alliance For Public Services
PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2 June 2014
Support the dedicated workers who care for our vulnerable children and fellow residents
The Campaign Against the Destruction of Disabled Support Services (CADDSS) and Barnet Alliance support Your Choice Barnet Care Workers decision to vote for strike action
Since Barnet Council transferred Learning Disability and Physical and Sensory Impairment services for adults to the for-profit company Your Choice Barnet in February 2012 service users and their families have been concerned that the standard of care would decline. Decisions being taken by the senior managers, responsible for the running of Your Choice Barnet, have made it increasingly difficult for Your Choice Barnet Care Workers to deliver services as they would wish. YCB front line staff have been hit by repeated restructuring, redundancies, reducing staffing levels and serious reductions in their working terms and conditions.
Service users rely on their Care Workers for their well-being and safety. They need continuity of care provided by staff who they know. For the safety of service users and staff it is vital that staffing levels are adequate. The safest way to ensure that service users are well cared for is to employ permanent staff. However at Your Choice Barnet the numbers of agency staff and zero hours contracts continue to increase.
Your Choice Barnet is creating conditions in which it is impossible for care workers to deliver the quality service they used to provide to the most vulnerable members of our community. Everyone, senior managers, Barnet councillors, service users and their families, agrees that these care workers show amazing care and commitment despite all the difficulties they face.
Recently the management of Your Choice Barnet imposed a 9.5% pay cut on all front-line staff. This pay cut is the final insult to Your Choice Barnet Care Workers. It seems that Your Choice Barnet is incapable of managing its finances in such a way that it can offer adequate conditions of employment to its staff, and this will impact on the safety and well-being of their clients. Under these circumstances, the Campaign Against Destruction of Disabled Support Services and Barnet Alliance for Public Services give their complete support to the Your Choice Barnet Care Workers, who have decided they have no choice but to strike.
Tony & Janet Solomons say:
As parents of a service user who has enjoyed many years of high quality support at an outstanding centre (Rosa Morison), it is terribly sad to watch the loss of skilled, experienced and dedicated workers across YCB services, and the ongoing use of agency staff to replace them. As morale will surely continue to fall, we fear for the future wellbeing of our son and his peers, some of society’s most vulnerable members, who are being let down so badly by the YCB Board.
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Notes to the editor:
- Your Choice Barnet is part of the Barnet Group, a Local Authority Trading Company created by Barnet council as part of its One Barnet Programme of privatisation. Outsourcing six services for adults with learning disabilities and with sensory and physical impairment – day centres and supported living - was the first outsourced contract of the OBP.
- CADDSS was formed in 2011 by disabled people and carers to protest against deteriorating social care provision in the London Borough of Barnet.
- Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BAPS) is a coalition of residents, trade unionists and community campaigners in the London Borough of Barnet, formed to defend and improve public services.
- CADDSS has been campaigning against the outsourcing of services for disabled adults to YCB since March 2013, had lobbied YCB board and Barnet council and had commissioned a report by Prof Dexter Whitfield suggesting ways out of YCB crisis. See more.
- On the 25 Feb 2014 CADDSS coordinator, Janet Leifer, handed the leader of Barnet council a petition signed by over 800 Barnet residents, calling the council to bring those services back in-house.
Janet Leifer, Campaign Against Destruction of Disabled Support Services 020-8343 8062
Tirza Waisel, Barnet Alliance for Public Services 07534-407703