Union calls for better resources as Climbie report is awaited

Unison is calling for increased funding of social services and
higher salaries for social workers in the lead up to the
publication of the Victoria Climbie inquiry report,
writes Sally Gillen.

The union’s social services spokesperson Owen Davies said
that he hoped that the report from Lord Laming, which is expected
next week, would address the serious “20-year
underfunding” of social services.

He added that he wanted to see the “dreadfully poor”
salaries  – which start at just under £17,000  – increased in
order to attract the high-calibre staff needed, as well as measures
to boost staff morale.

“There is no doubt that staff feel demoralised, under
constant threat and many are working in a witch-hunt
atmosphere,” said Davies.

Government pressures on public services to modernise has
resulted in constant restructuring, which had led to a “sense
of dislocation” in many social services departments.

The union also hopes that training will feature strongly in the
report. The three-year degree, which starts this September, was
welcome but was “too little too late”, added Davies.

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