Thursday 19 May 2005
Opportunity to 'level the playing field' in voluntary sector provision
UNISON, the union for Scotland's Community and Voluntary Sector,
today called for Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm MSP to use
tomorrows Scottish Executive Debate on Voluntary Sector and the
Social Economy to begin to tackle the real issue that affects the
Community and Voluntary Sector.
The sector which employs over 100,000 people in Scotland and continues
to grow by around 5% per annum has been the subject of a number
of independent studies which conclude that there is a growing funding
crisis in the sector which needs to be addressed.
Matt McLaughlin, UNISON's Regional Organiser for the Scottish Voluntary
Sector, said, "Obviously UNISON welcomes this debate in the Scottish
Parliament, I only hope that the Minister will use this opportunity
to take positive action that tackles the growing funding crisis
in our Community and Voluntary Sector. Too often, funding from government
is inadequate to deliver the full quality of service that Scottish
people deserve. UNISON members need action to tackle the low pay
and long hours culture, not warm words and platitudes."
The Community and Voluntary Sector in Scotland is bigger than the
manufacturing sector, with staff providing a wide range of services;
from caretaking in the local community facility to providing social
care and advice for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
Matt added, "Many social care providers are providing services
that Local Authorities cannot or do not want to provide. In addition
it is not unusual for voluntary sector workers and NHS/council staff
to work side by side with the same client group - and they can often
be paid less for the same job. UNISON believes that Community and
Voluntary Sector providers should be paid the full cost of providing
the quality of service which is expected of them and in turn workers
in the sector should be paid at rates which are comparable with
their local authority and health colleagues. The Scottish Executive
can make this happen if they have the will."
For Further Information Please Contact: Matt McLaughlin
(Regional Organiser) 0845 355 0845(w) 07946 339 036(m) Chris Bartter
(Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)