Date Fri 15 July 2011
UNISON calls on Glasgow City Council to halt attacks on people
with learning disabilities
UNISON, Scotland’s largest union in public services, has joined
together with communities across Glasgow to fight against service
Trade unionists and members of the public packed out a meeting
last week to share concerns over personalisation and fears that
Glasgow City Council is using this process simply as a means
to save money.
Glasgow City Council started its personalisation agenda last
summer. While UNISON supports the principles of personalisation,
which are about providing people with more independence, control
and dignity, this is not what is happening in Glasgow. The council
has always been explicit in its ambition to realise 20 per cent
savings as a result of the process.
Mandy McDowall, regional organiser for UNISON, said: “We’re
not against the concept of personalisation, but direct payments
should be used to complement a range of public services and
should not be used as a disguise for cutting services.
“We held this meeting to bring together those who are being
directly affected by these cuts. The meeting was packed with
staff, users and members of the community who all wanted to
share their experiences. We heard from carers who are having
their packages cut by 50 per cent; staff who are having their
terms and conditions slashed and communities who are suffering
“Each person had a different story to tell and the true human
cost of each and every cut was laid bare.”
Parents, carers, service users, campaign groups, academics
and disability groups were all in attendance at Thursday’s meeting.
UNISON says the meeting will be the first of many and is calling
on Glasgow City Council to put a halt to service cuts.
Simon Macfarlane, regional organiser for UNISON, added: “Glasgow
City Council has not properly assessed the impact of these cuts
and is rolling ahead with scant regard to the devastating consequences.
“We’re calling on the council to call a halt to this process
and to reinstate the packages that service users had before
the new personalisation agenda was agreed, until a thorough
review of the process and the impact on people with learning
disabilities is assessed. This assessment must involve service
users, their families and front line workers and their unions.”
Notes to editors
1. For further information please contact Mandy McDowall on
07903 846 427 or Simon Macfarlane on 07703 194 132. Alternatively,
visit our website at www.unison-scotland.org.uk