UNISONScotland www
This is our archive website that is no longer being updated.
For the new website please go to
Click here
Home News About us Join Us Contacts Help Resources Learning Links UNISON UK




Sponsorship Comms Index Communications Forum Campaigns News Scotland inUNISON Press Releases


Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


Thurs 1 November 2007

Kerelaw - enquiry welcome if independence and remit cover all the questions - UNISON

UNISON - the union representing most staff at Kerelaw school and secure unit, today gave a cautious welcome to the announcement of an independent public enquiry.

The union said they hoped this would give an opportunity for staff to clear their names from the cloud of suspicion. However they warned that the remit would have to be a wide one to ensure that the correct lessons were learned, cover all the issues including the management of the unit and the internal enquiry by Glasgow City Council.

UNISON has already responded to this internal enquiry criticising it as seriously flawed.*

Ronnie Stevenson, Convenor of UNISON's Glasgow Social Work Stewards said "Any enquiry must look at the flawed investigation carried out by Glasgow City Council; consider the problem of care of these vulnerable young adults which the closure of Kerelaw has exacerbated; and also consider recommending fair and robust disciplinary procedures to identify and deal with the guilty, and to prevent harassment and intimidation of the innocent."

UNISON has raised many issues over the years about Kerelaw staffing, resources and others. Had some of these been acted on sooner, we may have been able to identify problems and deal with them sooner. Where abuse occurred however, we, in no way, seek to defend that abuse.

The union also points out

1) That the unit was dealing with residents who were there because families, communities and other care facilities could not deal with their disruptive, confrontational and often violent behaviour. They were not there voluntarily and did not want to be there.

2) That the standards of care - especially as far as techniques of restraint - have changed dramatically over the last 25 years. For example the establishment of Therapeutic Crisis Intervention as a standard was pushed by UNISON and its members over the years - often against management opposition.

3) A variety of external inspections over 20 years included many good reports - for example, the last SWSI/HMIE report in 2003. The dramatic change in 2004 calls into question the standards of the inspection regimes and the reports before (both internal and external).


Note to editors * a copy of this response is available from Chris Bartter below).

For Further Information Please Contact: Ronnie Stevenson (Convenor - Glasgow SW stewards) 07803 952 262(m) Mandy McDowall (Regional Officer) 07903 846 427(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)