Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Social Worker Strike Is A Step To Far

Today's announcement by union leaders that children and adult social workers in Southampton will strike next week is totally unacceptable. It is not right to put vulnerable people at risk.

Vulnerable children and adults must be kept safe and looked after. I will be asking the trade unions to ensure that key services are exempted from the strike action.

I hope that the trade union leaders do the right thing and allow those who work in key safeguarding roles to come into work so that our vulnerable residents are kept safe.

If the trade unions refuse these exemptions I will do everything I can to ensure that emergency measures are put in place to ensure that the welfare of vulnerable people is not jeopardised by the actions of the unions.


Anonymous said...

This is an absolute last resort,thats how angry you have made Social Workers. You haven't treated them like you value them, you only have yourself to blame! You have destroyed those departments, now watch the whole thing crumble and feel proud that you have saved some money!

Jeremy Moulton said...

We have made social services our number one priority. Despite being under huge financial pressure the council is investing more money that ever in social services. An extra million this year alone. On top of an extra £1.5m in 2009. We are recuiting more staff and we are committed to paying whatever the appropriate rate of pay is. That's why we have started and independent market review of all terms and conditions for social workers.

We will not put a price on keeping vulnerable people safe.

The council overall though has to save money because it cannot continue to spend money it no longer has. We stand by out approach to protect services, jobs and the lowest paid. There are no easy choices but the alternative put forward by others of 1500 redundancies does not bear thinking about in my mind.

Mirrorman said...

Have you ever considered leaving the Conservative party and just learning to love again?

Anonymous said...

We have heard it all before Jeremy! How about you try talking to these people with genuine understanding about what they are going through rather than spouting your rehearsed script back all the time? You are clearly oblivious to how these workers are on their knees, morale is so low. We all know these departments don't perform well in such an environment and quality workers will leave. On your head be it, you have a legal responsibility here to make sure things are safe and done well. You are causing people to walk out the door leaving remaining workers overworked and stressed! I feel this will go horribly wrong (although I sincerely hope it doesn't for the sake of those vulnerable people!) and I know who I will be pointing the finger at first when it does!

Jeremy Moulton said...

Dear Anonymous.

The answer is not to strike. The council has made this service the number priority because you can't put a price on protecting vulnerable people. Extra funding has been put in to employ more staff, to get case loads down. We had really good Ofsted report just a few weeks ago reflecting the progress we have made.

Funding has been put in to redress in the short term any perceived imbalance in pay with regards to other authorities and a full terms and conditions review is underway. This is where unions should be focusing their energies.

We have an excellent management team and I know a dedicated staff. This service has come a long way in the past 2-3 years. Strike action will only damage it and hurt those people we are all here to serve.

JMIAT said...

I assume you are referring to the market supplement that was promised but not paid to staff? A politician not telling the whole truth in the spotlight? Who would have thought it?!

Jeremy Moulton said...


The council has quite clearly stated that a 6 month market supplement will be paid whilst a review takes place to determine future terms and conditions. The market supplement will be paid in the next payroll run and backdated.
Are you suggesting that staff don't understand this?


JMIAT said...

Probably more accurate to say they don't believe they are valued or trust anything said anymore. After all actions speak louder than words! Would you blame them in all honesty? Morale should be addressed as a matter of urgency!!

Jeremy Moulton said...

Oh I see. Well it is happening. It would be very strange to announce something like that and not do it wouldn't it? I agree morale needs boosting and we all need to focus on building on the improvements that have been achieved over the past couple of years.