Date: Thursday 8 October 2009
Voluntary work with children threatened as government cuts disclosure
Staff at a body set up after the Dunblane massacre face the sack
as government funding is to be cut to less than half that needed,
UNISON said today.
Staff at the Central Registered Body in Scotland (CRBS), set
up by the Scottish Government on a recommendation by Lord Cullen's
report on the massacre, were told on Monday that they have until
Friday (9 October) to opt for voluntary redundancy or face compulsory
The body, which is run by Volunteer Development Scotland (VDS)
and funded directly by the Scottish Government enables voluntary
organisations that work with children to register and get disclosure
checks on volunteers and employees, free.
UNISON said that they had been told by the Chief Executive, George
Thomson, that government funding had been dramatically cut - leaving
the body £115,000 short for 2009/10.
James Douglas, Stirling Branch Secretary of UNISON, who represent
the staff at CRBS said:- "This is a disgraceful cut by the Scottish
Government, which will hit both dedicated staff and valuable services
to our kids. Providing such a vital agency with less than half
of their required funding threatens most of the staff with either
voluntary or compulsory redundancy. If this happens the work of
CRBS will immediately start to pile up, and eventually voluntary
organisations - especially small ones - working with children
will be unable to get volunteers or staff checked, they won't
be able to use them, and in many cases will have to close."
The union is also questioning the management of the crisis by
VDS. James Douglas said "To pressure staff to take decisions on
their whole future in less than five days, to impose a pay freezes
whilst still engaging expensive consultants shows the wrong priorities.
Before rushing headlong into compulsory redundancies CRBS and
VDS need to point out to government the implications of their
cuts, and to talk to staff unions about alternatives."
Note for editors: The Central Registered Body in Scotland
(CRBS), is run by Volunteer Development Scotland, and directly
funded by the Scottish Government. It provides a service to voluntary
sector bodies by processing free checks on volunteers and employees
to Disclosure Scotland, allowing these bodies to avoid expensive
charges, maintaining a register of organisations too small to
register direct with Disclosure Scotland, and providing advice
and assistance. They have 29 staff based in Stirling.
For Further Information Please Contact: James Douglas,
Branch Secretary, Stirling UNISON 07826 903 559(m) e-mail : email@example.com
John Keggie, Scottish Organiser 07958 121 113(m) Chris Bartter,
Communications officer 07715 583 729 (m)