Children Services Union Meeting

By February 21, 2017Uncategorized

Wednesday 1st of February

60 members attended

Budget Cuts:

Review of Residential Property- closure of the Grange £300,000

The meeting voted unanimously to oppose this proposal to close this resource. The following points were made:

The resource is a positive environment with a dedicated staff team and they have made good progress with their current young people. This contradicts the statement made in the current Council consultation. The current families who have their children at the Grange want their care to continue at this establishment and attend school locally.
Members also disputed the under occupancy and believe this a specific policy not to place 2 young people that currently require accommodation at the Grange.
It is difficult/ impossible to predict the levels of future requirements but members believe on principle it is wrong to lose the only dedicated children’s home within Salford that is dedicated to supporting young people with disabilities. Where will transition for children returning to Salford to go to adult accommodation, emergencies, etc? Have they considered the savings that staff says can be made while maintaining the current resource?
Having they considered the full costs of placing current and future young people out of area?

Develop Short Breaks/review residential contract £100,000

Members understand that the current contract is not being appropriately utilised as they failed to consult with the Social Work Disability Team when drawing up the original contract. However, the union meeting believe that this money needs to be reinvested into support services for children with disabilities. There is a lack of respite for those under 14, lack of outreach support, short break support etc.

Review of Support Functions & vacancies across Children Services £280,000

Members are extremely concerned about the further loss of admin staff. No one was opposed to the introduction of technology but concerned that demands on fewer and fewer admin workers is becoming intolerable.
It is also having an effect on other staff that is spending more of their time doing functions previously undertaken as an admin function. It was suggested that when looking at improvements in how tasks are completed should involve the whole team rather than just the admin component. It was suggested that Unison should launch a petition in support of the vital role admin workers play and stop any further erosion of support functions.

Transformation of 0 to 25 Services

Staffs continue to be concerned about £300,000 cut from last year’s budget. Union will continue to request a full evaluation of the Little Hulton pilot. In this year’s budget there is a further £400,000 cut through transformation for children services. No firm proposals have been received how this or last year’s cut will be made.

Redesign of Children Services (Health & Youth) £500,000

To be discussed at Youth Service meeting on the 8th of Feb
Other issues

Social Work Accreditation

Union members want further information. Information will be circulated and further discussion will be arranged.

Car parking

Members requested that the 1% car parking charge is removed.
The Council needs to make more spaces available. Can they buy places from retail outlets in Swinton? Concerns that car parking at the old St Ambrose Barlow site maybe lost. Can they utilise other areas of land? Introduce preferential parking dependent on agreed set of criteria. Park & Ride. Introduce more incentives for staff that are willing to use public transport.

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