UNISON Scotland head of local government Johanna Baxter said: “The announcement that social care staff will continue to be employed by local authorities, and councils will still be responsible for assets like buildings and the delivery of services, is welcome. But many issues remain unresolved by this statement alone.
“It is vital that social care is kept in local democratic control so that service users and families can take up problems with their local councillors and councils can champion care services for vulnerable people in their local areas.
“A national care service must improve the working lives of social care workers if we are to ever improve social care. They need fair pay, decent working hours and proper training. And those employed by the third and private sector need collective sectoral bargaining to ensure they can keep the pressure on government and care providers to deliver this.
“While recognising this first step, there are still significant problems with the National Care Service Bill. The Scottish Government and COSLA must now get around the table with us to discuss the detail of how this shared accountability arrangement will work including any new, or revised, legislation required to ensure we can build a world class social care service.”
Notes for editors
UNISON is the Scotland’s largest union. Our 150,000 members work across public services – in social care, local government, the NHS, education, emergency services, energy and water. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.
Scottish Government and COSLA statement on National Care Service: Partnership on National Care Service – gov.scot (www.gov.scot)