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Date: 19 April 2006

Privatising Borders Home Care will cut service and provoke anger - UNISON

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 the people.

"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)




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