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UNISON has received notice (January 2015) of 1,000 job cuts over the next 15 months.

previously:

Remember, remember the 5th of November; stop councillors giving workers the chop. lobby of full council took place outside council chamber civic centre Wolverhampton on Wednesday 5th November 2014 led by UNISON members from the Neighbourhood Warden Service who collected over 4,000 signatures from local council tax payers to force the council to debate the issue. 

up to 2,000 local jobs could be axed by the Labour council by 2015 after they announced a further £66.7million of government cuts to our local public services.

This will push thousands of low paid hard-working people who have loyally provided services to their fellow citizens over many years, into poverty.

  • their loss of income will mean shops and local business will also suffer
  • making many rely on benefits which means loss of tax revenue for the country
  • increased housing benefit going to landlords
  • and for those who end up in part-time or even lower paid jobs,  increased  in-work benefits which subsidise employers who pay their workers less than is needed to live on.

cuts to workers' conditions proposals:

-All full time contracts reduced from 37 hours a week to 35 - WITHDRAWN

-No pay for first day of sickness absence or only statutory sick pay after the first day

-Annual pay increments frozen from 2015/16 - WITHDRAWN

-All contracts changed to 5/7. All employees asked to work a work pattern including weekends. No additional payments for weekend working.

-Mileage rates cut from 45p a mile to 25p a mile

cuts to workers' conditions were also announced:
-No flexi-leave from April 
-No 2014/15 salary increment for directors and assistant directors
-statutory day in April lost and added to annual leave

-Redundancy scheme cut to state minimum after anyone on over £20k pa. Council seems to be refusing legal pension rights for over 55s currently.

Already, further government cuts meant that the Tory/Lib Dems have cut 52% of the council’s central grant meaning £123million rather than £98million cutting 1400 jobs potentially rather than the 1,000 previously proposed. 

All elderly services are under threat.

 

Lobbies organised by UNISON of Wolverhampton Council took place and were supported by the Black Country Peoples Assembly and WB&DTUC :

 Wed 16th July 2014, Wed 19th March, Wed 5th March, Tues 4th March, Wednesday 5th February against the Cuts  @Civic Centre Wolverhampton

BBC Midlands, ITV Central news, BBC WM Radio, Express & Star all covered the 5th March protest, when the budget was agreed.  Several campaigners were interviewed live over two days of broadcasts.

WOLVERHAMPTON: COUNCIL CUTS CAUSED BY GOVERNMENT- “IDEOLOGICAL DOGMA,” trades unionists say.  Trades unionists expressed their anger (January 14, 2014) at massive cuts to key Wolverhampton services, which are predicted to reach £123 million over the next 5 years. Read the full article by local reporter John Millington.

 

The following analysis represent just a fraction of the initial savage cuts being proposed to CUTS in CHILDREN AND ADULT SERVICES at the highest level of need. The quotations are from the council officers reports. 

1. £20000 worth of cuts to the Family and Advice Support team – 6 jobs at risk. Implications - may increase the risk of more children coming into care.

2. Children’s Homes: Transfer and closure of Children’s Homes - Redgables and The Farm. Saving target is £372000. Implications - privatisation and the staff who look after children in care being poorly trained and paid a lot less.

3. £75000 Savings in the youth offending team aimed at cutting back on the staffing budget. Implications - risk of increased youth offending.

4. £13000 in Adult Services over 5 years

"As this work completes in the latter three years of the plan and there is a more stable level of care packages, consideration will be given to the skill mix of the social work team with a reduced level of social workers and an increased level of care assistants. An invest to save bid has been made for the first two years of the financial plan to enable the reviews to be completed at an accelerated pace and savings to be released"

5. Care Link £400000 over 5 years

“This proposal will explore options to reduce costs in adult care in house provision. The following services will be included in this options appraisal; the Council's Neighbourhood Support and Carelink service. The delivery of this proposal will be overseen by the fixed term contract invest to save commissioning posts”

6. Children with Disabilities service £20000

“Review the function and skill mix of the Children's Disability Assessment and Care Management Team. All significant Children in Need / Safeguarding Cases would be handled by the Children's Assessment and Care Management Teams with the remaining team focusing on the needs of disabled children, transition issues and short breaks”.

Implications - increased workloads for locality teams and child protection investigations being handled by staff without specialist knowledge of disability.

7. Mental Health Social Work teams £300000 (6 FTE jobs)

“an intensive review and reassessment of care packages to release savings from individual care packages and increase reablement / resettlement opportunities. As this work completes in the latter three years of the plan and there is a more stable level of care packages, consideration will be given to the skill mix of the social work team with a reduced level of social workers and an increased level of care assistants. An invest to save bid has been made for the first two years of the financial plan to enable the reviews to be completed at an accelerated pace and savings to be released”.

Implications - much reduced quality of care packages and deskilling of the workforce

8. Physical Disabilities Social Work teams £130000 package of savings.

“an intensive review and reassessment of care packages to release savings from individual care packages and increase reablement / resettlement opportunities. As this work completes in the latter three years of the plan and there is a more stable level of care packages, consideration will be given to the skill mix of the social work team with a reduced level of social workers and an increased level of care assistants”

Implications - much reduced quality of care packages and deskilling of the workforce

9. Cuts in High Cost Residential and Nursing Care £150000. Implications - poorer quality care packages

10. Cuts to the Welfare Rights Service £185000 (7 jobs)

Implications - Massive cuts and changes are taking place in the benefit system where advice services are needed more than ever. Cutting advice services is one way that benefit claimants are being denied access to justice

11. A 24% cut in Mental Health services £125000

12. A 40% (£4m) cut in residential disability service.

“This proposal would achieve 40% savings (£4.0 million) and bring the Councils average unit cost below the national average. Future provision choices (READ LESS CHOICE) will be driven by service users and their carers through the use of individual budgets. This will lead to significant down scaling of in house provision as the provider market changes as a result of personalisation, choice and control (assumes that people will choose private provision over council services). This would include a more cost effective provision of outreach and supported living services, day care for adults with complex needs, day care community access and skills development, employment services, Duke Street residential care, Ernest Bold residential care, Swan Bank residential care and Action 4 Independence. An option would be to transfer as a block this provision into a not for profit community care trust. TUPE and staffing transfer to the new provider would apply”

13. A 20% cut (£3.46m) in Learning Disabilities Assessment And Care Management - Care Packages

“would involve an intensive review of needs including: high cost residential care placements / supported living placements along with reductions in the size of care packages. Installation of 'Just Checking' equipment for customers in receipt of a waking nights service, use of occupational therapy expertise to assist in identifying where 2:1 support plans can be reduced; use of procurement / commissioning skills to reduce provider costs for expensive packages of care; introduction of a policy of 'capping' in circumstances where customer needs are assessed as exceeding for example 65 hours per week and supported living costs are in excess of residential care costs”

Implications - introduction of a capping cost of service regardless of needs - may discriminate against those with the highest needs and lead to more people with learning disabilities needlessly going into residential care.

Critical commentary on how these cuts effect the library service can be found at: 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/257054804410440/permalink/466779146771337/