Unison local government conference backs motion rejecting care trusts

Unison members have voted to step up their
campaign against the formation of care trusts.

At the union’s local government conference
this week they backed a motion rejecting care trust status as the
best means of promoting closer working between social care and
health staff.

Conference delegates meeting in Bournemouth
called on their leaders to promote alternative mechanisms that do
not require members to transfer out of local authority

Earlier Owen Davies, Unison’s national officer
for social services, described care trusts as a “mechanism to place
social services under NHS control” and he congratulated branches
for campaigning effectively against them.

Delegates also voted unanimously in favour of
a motion highlighting the crisis in social care and urging
ministers to ensure that funding for social services is increased
at a rate that protects and improves services while ensuring staff
can be paid a decent wage.

Members also resolved to conduct research into
the high turnover of social care staff and to oppose staff being
used as “scapegoats”.

Davies said that Unison welcomed the spending
increase announced in April but added that it was “a disgrace” that
ministers had suggested the extra money should not go into
improving staff salaries.

“If the money is not going to be devoted to
more and better paid staff then we fear that it will go to boosting
the profits of those private sector providers who are increasingly
promoted by ministers and their joint review teams as the solution
to every problem,” he said.

Standards in social care needed to be raised,
and better funding was not an end in itself, he added. “We need the
cash to do a better job for service users, but we utterly reject
the league table mentality that ministers have imported from
education into social care. Name and shame has no place in social

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