Date: Tues 27 Dec 2005
Executive vision of increased use of voluntary sector must include
better working conditions
Scotland's biggest union for Community and Voluntary
Sector(CVS) workers, UNISON, says that the Scottish Executives vision
of the CVS providing more services must include reforming conditions
of employment in the sector which it says are Dickensian.
Focusing on overtime payments and sleep over working,
UNISON Regional Organiser Matt McLaughlin said, "Scotland's social
care employers receive millions of pounds from the Scottish Executive
and local councils to enable them to provide support and assistance
for people with disabilities living in their own community.
"UNISON members will have 'slept over' in someone
else's home on Christmas Eve for as little as £25.00 for the entire
night. Plus some UNISON members will have worked Christmas Day for
as little as £6.10 per hour for a 12 hour shift. Some of them will
have been away from their families for as much at 28 hours."
The majority of staff in Scotland's social care sector
do not receive overtime payments and a typical pattern of work would
see them starting a work shift at 2.00pm on day 1 and not finishing
until 2.00pm the following day, (day 2) with an 'early' (8.00am
till 2.00pm) on day 3.
Holiday requests at this time of year are normally
not granted, because of the need to continue to provide a service,
but due to sickness and vacancies many staff will be working alongside
agency workers who could be paid as much as £20 per hour.
Matt added, "Recently the Scottish Executive launched
a five year vision for change, designed to give the Community and
Voluntary Sector a greater role in the provision of public services.
Whilst UNISON welcomes that commitment, the Executive, local councils
and employers in the sector really need to stop talking about making
change and get on with it. Eradicating terms and conditions that
Scrooge would be proud of, should be an important first step"
For Further Information Please Contact: Matt
McLaughlin (Regional Organiser) 07904341979 (m) Chris Bartter (Communications
Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)