UNISON today (Monday) held a lobby of councilors outside a council meeting in Clydach Vale, protesting against against a decision to privatise services in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Hundreds of vulnerable people in the region could soon see the quality of care they receive compromised as the local authority cabinet today confirmed it is privatising services.
The council was looking at either privatising care or relying on charities to deliver homecare for the elderly and supported living services for people with learning disabilities.
Families of people relying on care in Rhondda Cynon Taf have already contacted UNISON to express their concerns about the future of the service.
And this morning care workers campaigned outside the offices of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council ahead of a cabinet meeting to decide the future of care in the region.
UNISON Cymru/Wales social care lead Mark Turner said: “It is shocking that a Labour led council has decided to throw low paid women workers to the whims of private care providers.
“Care workers themselves held a very impassioned rally against selling off care services today.
“Some of the signs and banners they carried read ‘it started with a clap and ended with a slap’ which encapsulates the strength of feeling in Rhondda Cynon Taff right now.
“UNISON is calling for a national care service for Wales provided mainly by councils in-house and will continue to fight against today’s decision by Rhondda Council.”
UNISON Cwm Taf local government branch secretary Peter Crews, who is a former care manager in Rhondda, said: “Hundreds of vulnerable people rely on care services in this area. The standard of care would be severely affected if it was run by a private company.
“Most of the people who carry out these vital services are low paid women who put their heart and soul into their jobs.
“They should not have to cover the cost of the council’s money–saving schemes.”Beth Winter, MP for the Cynon Valley stated: “I have been contacted by a number of care staff and service users, all of whom have expressed grave concerns about the proposals.“I fully support the trades unions’ position and I feel strongly that any attempt to outsource such services must be opposed. The care of older and disabled people should not be treated as a commodity, and in my view the profit motive should have no place in delivering that care”.