Council staff in revamped homecare service fear for their jobs

HOMECARE staff caught up in a service shake-up are concerned about their future. Council employees say they are being “sidelined” in favour of private companies.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s Homecare department, who provide care services for elderly and vulnerable residents in their own home, was overhauled in September.

A total of 35 workers took voluntary redundancies instead of accepting new money-saving working conditions, but the remaining staff fear they are now being squeezed out too.

One worker’s husband told the Herald: “The council has all these homecare workers who are trained up to the hilt, but don’t seem to want to use them anymore.

“They’ve been sent off for days of training all these years and have built up huge expertise in looking after people.

“Since the shake-up they’ve been left with hardly anything to do some days, as private companies are brought in instead.

“These companies employ 16, 17 and 18-year-old girls just out of school who don’t have the expertise, but can be paid minimum wage to save cash.

“My wife is now worried whether her job will even exist next year.

“The council says that the shake-up is for the benefit of patients, but it’s clearly just a cost-cutting exercise.”

Freda McShane, acting head of Social Work at East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “It is not council policy to comment on staffing matters such as these in the press.

“There is a range of council processes in place where staff can raise any concerns they might have with their managers.”