Contracts criticised

Public service union Unison has strongly criticised the proposed
contracts issued to self-employed children’s guardians earlier this
month by the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

At a meeting with Cafcass, Unison protested about the content of
the proposed contracts and the way in which they were issued,
according to Malcolm Wing, Unison’s local government service group
national secretary.

Unison claimed the contracts were likely to become the benchmark
for all employed guardians contracts – as well as family court
welfare officers (formerly part of the Probation Service) – in the
future and so should have been subject to negotiations with the

However, Cafcass argued the contracts were intended to solve the
“fixed fee” dispute with the self-employed guardians who are not
represented by Unison.

Unison also claimed the contract was in some aspects so much
worse than employees’ current conditions as to be “insulting”.

“We are disappointed that Cafcass has published this document
even if it is only for consultation,” said Owen Davies, Unison
national officer for social services.

Unison represents about 500 Cafcass employees.

Comments are invited on the proposed contracts by 14 June.

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