Charity move raises workers’ suspicions

NSPCC staff fear that plans to move part of the charity’s telephone
helpline operation from London to Manchester are linked to funding
from a commercial deal.

The charity is blaming the move on difficulties in recruiting staff
for night shifts and the need to find space for expansion

But a report by the British Union of Social Work Employees says
“staff remain concerned that in some way an offer from a major
corporate donor is driving the Manchester proposal”.

This is despite verbal reassurances from senior managers that there
was no direct link between the move and any “condition, pressure or

However, Jennifer Bernard, the charity’s director of services for
children and young people, said that if the move went ahead it
would be funded by the Full Stop campaign against child abuse and
had no links to a commercial deal.

“We’re a long way off being able to cost it fully, but it is a
significant investment and not a cost-cutting exercise,” she said.

“This was one of the ideas we had on the shelf that we wanted to
pursue if additional income became available.”

The proposals include plans to move the NSPCC’s evening and weekend
helpline services to Manchester by May at the earliest, with 25
child protection social workers either transferring north, being
offered alternative jobs in London or being made redundant.

Steve Anslow, general secretary of BUSWE, said he doubted that any
staff would want to move and that if all 25 took redundancy it
would cost the organisation about £115,000.

But he said inflexible working hours had hampered recruitment and
BUSWE has put forward proposals from staff on how the NSPCC could
make the job more attractive.

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