10 June 2016
UNISON Will Fight any Privatisation of Sandwell’s Children’s Services
Discussions are underway about future proposals for Sandwell’s Children’s Services following recommendations made by commissioner Eleanor Brazil.
No decision has been taken at this time however proposals to either move Children’s Services to a voluntary trust with the co-operation of the council or to appoint an executive commissioner to oversee Children’s Services are now with the minister.
Sandwell Council is currently in the process of working with the DfE to analyse both options in detail and shortly the minister will be a position to make the best choice for children in Sandwell.
Commenting on the possibility of a Trust being set up, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary Ravi Subramanian said:
“UNISON totally opposes any attempt by the Government to make any politically motivated decision that privatises Sandwell’s Children’s Services into a so called ‘Trust’.
Our members in Sandwell have given us a clear unanimous mandate. Should there be any proposed transfer out of the Sandwell Council into a private organisation our members want a ballot for industrial action to both protect their jobs and to ensure vulnerable children are used to generate profits for the private sector.
Our members in Sandwell know from experience that the private sector has already failed to improve Children’s Services in Sandwell. Despite the Council giving private company iMpower £1.5million the service was still rated inadequate.
Our members desperately want to see the service improve and locally UNISON has pledged to proactively work with any management.
We urge the Minister Edward Timpson to put the political dogma of enforcing privatisation on Labour run Councils aside, and work with councillors, staff and unions to deliver the improvements that are needed.”