Sackings ‘will put children in danger’

Unison is to fight unfair dismissal cases on behalf of social
workers and administrators dismissed by Brent Council.

Stuart Barber, Unison regional officer, alleged the selection
procedures for redundancies were flawed. He said the workload for
the staff is ‘intolerable’ and 150 children on the at-risk register
were going to suffer.

‘Mistakes are going to be made. I do believe that further
tragedies are waiting to happen given the present instability and
chaos in Brent,’ he said.

The Social Services Inspectorate has met Brent representatives
in the past few weeks to discuss services.

A total of 41 staff, including four senior managers, four
service unit managers, ten team leaders and ten administrative
staff, have been made redundant, claim Unison.

Barber claimed staff were told to clear their desks and get out
on the day of the announcement, and those on holiday or on sick
leave received notification by courier. He added that some of the
sackings were linked to individuals’ refusals to take written
competency tests, introduced last year by Mike Boyle, director of
social services.

But Boyle said only 25 posts had been scrapped and new jobs had
been created. Routine meetings had been held with the SSI last
week. ‘The SSI did not seem overly concerned. If Barber has
concerns he should come and discuss them with us.

‘We are not interested in having megaphone diplomacy with

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