GMB union writes open letter to Swindon council cabinet members over crisis in emergency social work provision
We need Swindon Council need to meet us for constructive talks because the service is struggling after the loss of highly skilled, specialist mental health practitioners, to the detriment of clients and service users, says GMB
GMB, the union for the Emergency Duty Service (EDS) in Swindon has written an open letter  to Swindon Councillors over the ‘crisis’ within the service, which the union is blaming on the council’s 'confrontational’ approach.
The union is in dispute with the council over the removal of the unsocial hours allowance paid to workers on the team, who provide emergency out-of-hours social work support to some of the most vulnerable people in Swindon.
GMB members had previously been on strike over the contract changes, but had to suspend their industrial action on safety grounds, as they felt Swindon had not provided adequate emergency cover .
Andy Newman, GMB Branch Secretary said:
“Our members suspended their strike, even though they have not achieved all their objectives, because they could not in good conscience abandon the service users about which they care so much. But highly skilled workers have other options, and Swindon is in danger of losing staff.
“This is no longer about money, and we have written to the council because we believe the solution is within reach, but it will require a change in approach to something a lot less confrontational than it is at present.
“By failing to seek a solution the council is acting to the detriment of clients and service users. We need Swindon Council need to meet us for constructive talks because the service is already struggling after the loss of highly skilled, specialist mental health practitioners."
Media enquiries: Andy Newman on 0754 0859 227 or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at email@example.com
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