A newsletter called Labour Voice is currently being delivered around Salford featuring an article opposing the "Government's Backdoor Plan to Privatise Fire Services".
The excellent article criticises "plans to allow fire services to be sold off", arguing that "local people need to have confidence that fire-fighting in our area is being run for public protection, not company profit…private firm often cost more and deliver less than promised when they bid to take over public service".
Unfortunately the Labour Party's Mayor Ian Stewart, his Assistants and Councillors are proposing to do exactly the same thing with Salford's Mental Health Support Services. Except, they call it `outsourcing'. (see previous Salford Star article click here)
"The privatisation of the Floating Support Workers threatens and undermines a large area of Mental Health provision in Salford" says Kevin Corran, Membership Officer, Salford City UNISON "The three residential units, Hollybank, Ingleside and Victoria Crescent provide expert recovery and support, and the Community Care Worker service that focus on recovery of service users in the community, are in line for privatisation.
"This process will not only attack the terms and conditions of these workers but will also reduce the quality of the service that they provide" he adds "These dedicated, experienced and highly trained staff provide a vital service to the city of Salford. This attempt at privatisation of these in house services is an attack on some of the most vulnerable people in Salford when they are reeling from the impact of the Bedroom Tax, Council Tax cuts, dealings with ATOS and cuts to benefits."
Steve Cullen, of Salford's United Service Users Committee (USUC) adds:
"Without the Community Care Workers involvement in groups and drop-ins, we feel they won't exist. If the Community Care Workers are privatised we feel service users won't get the same level of support, and many more people will end up in relapse, in A&E with self harm attempted suicide. More people will be lost in the system."
The message of tonight's public meeting at Buile Hill Conference Centre is `Don't Privatise Mental Health Services'. We do hope those councillors and Assistant Mayors and the Mayor, who are intending to vote for the privatisation, will attend and explain the difference between opposing privatisation of Fire Services and opposing privatisation of Mental Health Support Services.
Tuesday 7th May 6pm
Buile Hill Conference Centre
Buile Hill Park, Eccles Old Road M6 8GL
Speakers: Sheila Coleman (Unite Community NW), Karen Reissmann (UNISON NEC) and Kevin Bennett (Warrington Anti Cuts rebel councillor).