GMB, Britain’s general Union, has criticised Newport Council after discovering that the council has made a decision to outsource its Extra Care service to Radis Community Care.

The Union claims that the Council has been trying for a number of years to sell off the Extra Care service despite the service being seen by many as a ‘Flagship service’ not that many years ago after the Council went into partnership with housing association Linc Cymru. They believe that the Council now find the previous arrangement too costly following a job evaluation of the workforce which saw an up scaling of predominantly female staff after years of low pay on part time contracts.

GMB have also raised concerns around the high number of vacant posts and the rate of long term sickness absence in the department, which the union claims is mostly due to stress and anxiety and depression of Staff.

They also feel aggrieved that despite numerous requests the Union has been refused meetings with the Leader of the Council, Debbie Wilcox, by the Council’s chief executive and are yet to receive a response from the Executive Member for Social Care.

Rowena Hayward Senior Officer for GMB Wales & South West said:

“We’re extremely disappointed that we haven’t been consulted with fully during this process.

“The ‘bumbling’ or secrecy around this outsourcing is undignified, unprofessional and quite frankly insulting to the hundred plus staff who will be affected by the decision to outsource their employment to another care provider.

“What makes it worse is that whilst we have a Welsh Labour leadership election underway where all of the candidates are looking to build provision of Universal Social Care and at least one candidate has called for a National Care Service, we can see a Labour council outsourcing its services off to the private sector.

“We expect much better from a Labour Council.”

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