Care services safeguarded at Newport council

Newport care workers this week are celebrating the news that the City Council has decided not to outsource care services for older people. Public services union UNISON, ran a campaign to retain services in-house and it has described the decision as a victory for clients and employees. The trade feared outsourcing would undermine care standards and employment conditions for staff.

Newport City Council originally proposed to outsource the ‘Extracare scheme’ which provides care for older people. UNISON initiated a petition and the trade union’s concerted political lobbying helped secure a change of mind from the council.

Peter Garland UNISON branch secretary, said,

“We welcome the news of the decision not to outsource council care workers to a private provider. This will reassure and comfort not only the staff but also the clients who rely on and appreciate the great and consistent care they receive from the council workers.

“We know that Welsh councils are under intolerable strain because of savage UK Conservative Government spending cuts. Councils have already made unpalatable cuts to services and council employees have to do more work with fewer resources while attempting to ensure front-line services are not affected. Outsourcing however is never the answer. It means local people lose any say in how their services are run. It damages the quality of service provided and erodes employment conditions for care staff.

“We will continue to work with our members and the council to protect critical services and look after those in our community who need support.”

UNISON is asking councils in Wales to sign up to its Ethical Care Charter which ensures dignity of care for patients and fair and decent employment standards for care staff who work with some of the most vulnerable people in society.