Direct payments divide union ranks

Unison must stop “sticking its head in the sand” over direct payments or it will fail to influence development of the policy, its local government service group conference heard this week.

Chris Tansley, chair of the public services union’s national social services forum, told delegates in Bournemouth that direct payments had divided union members.

While they had “aspirations for independent living”, particularly disabled members, he said the policy also threatened social care jobs because it represented a shift from conventional care by allowing service users to decide how they wanted to spend allocated money.

“We’ve got to get an agreement between those interested parties in Unison,” said Tansley.

He made the comments as he presented a motion on the under-funding of adult social care, which won overwhelming support from delegates.



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