Date: 19 April 2006
Privatising Borders Home Care will cut service and provoke anger
UNISON, the trade union representing Scottish Borders Council
staff reacted with anger today at the leaked report that threatens
to privatise part of the council's Home care service and make low-paid
home carers redundant.
Edith Moody (UNISON's Branch Chair) said; "It is no wonder that
the council wants to keep this report secret. Threatening to privatise
sections of the workforce who have legitimate equal pay claims is
an underhand way of running away from their responsibility.
"Borders Home care service is an excellent service, valued highly
by those who receive it. To suggest replacing a highly qualified
service driven by the needs of the Borders, with one driven by the
need to make a profit for a private company, is not 'Best Value'
"Councils in England have tried this tactic, and it has only ended
up with more cases going to tribunal and a far poorer service to
"Threats of privatisation and redundancy provide neither best value,
nor avoid the responsibility. They really need to realise that they
will have more success in dealing with this important issue working
with the staff and their unions, than by trying to frighten them.
Keeping hard-working staff in the dark is neither helpful in terms
of negotiations, nor is it in tune with the government's stated
aims transparency and openness."
"The Borders' public value this service, and attempts to sell it
off in order to cut it and avoid responsibility in paying these
low-paid women the decent wage they should have been paying for
years, will only lead to anger and more bad publicity for the Council."
For Further Information Please Contact: Mandy McDowall (Regional
officer) - 07903 846427 (m) Martin Smith (Branch Communications
officer) 01835 824000(w)