Edinburgh staff vote for action over children in care funding

The Edinburgh Council branch of Unison has voted by an
overwhelming majority to take formal action due to a lack of
resources for placing children in care.

Members of Unison voted by 98 per cent in favour of pursuing a
formal grievance against Edinburgh Council unless urgent action is
pursued. The union says as many as 80 children assessed as needing
care are on a waiting list for placements due to a shortfall of

Lynn Williams, convenor of the social work shop stewards for
Edinburgh branch, said: “This is not a dispute with the social work
department, but with the council and the Scottish executive to make
additional resources available to meet these children’s


Les McEwan, director of social work for Edinburgh City Council,
said: “This council has increased the children and families’
budget by £2.8 million this year and increased our local child
care resources. Yet since 1995, the number of children in need of
care has increased by more than 20% and is still rising.”


Unison claim that the current resource shortfall means that the
council cannot met some of the requirements of the Edinburgh
Inquiry into serial sexual abuse of children in residential care
which reported last year. Williams said: “We have had children
hot-bedding placements, sleeping on couches and floors. The social
work department has fought hard for resources. Now we are calling
on the council to meet the costs corporately and to pressurise the
Scottish executive to invest in child care – something they
have failed to do for some years.”

McEwan said: “We are well aware of the problems. Meeting the
range of child care needs in this city is a more complex task than
the union seem to imply. The council has backed that up by
increased investment.”

Unison will formulate the terms of the grievance and submit them
to the council this week.

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