Hundreds of jobs on the line

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MORE than 400 staff jobs are on the line with the county council’s plans to put the running of its adult social care day services into private hands.

Unison’s workplace representative at The Chappell Centre, Gill Thomas, revealed last November that 464 “highly trained and experienced staff” looked like losing their jobs as the council unveiled its plans to axe its day care centres and pull the plug on two respite care centres.

She said this week her union is opposed to the “disestablishment” of professionally staffed, public sector services and feels it is unlikely that existing employees will come forward to run the centres.

Miss Thomas said the county council had not U-turned at all and nothing had really changed for the staff.

She said: “It is still privatisation and it is still us in the public sector that are suffering.

“I think they are still looking at redundancies. These services will be privatised and there is no guarantee that the staff jobs will be saved.”

The Chappell Centre has ten permanent staff and seven relief staff.

Miss Thomas said the public consultation was meant to be about choice – but service users were not given the option of the centres remaining in council hands and maintaining long-established relationships with trusted staff.