Posted by: the3rdi | February 2, 2011

Jobs in third sector sacrificed to save public sector workers

“No compulsory redundancies” for public sector simply exports job losses to charities and risks vital services for vulnerable people

The national body for charities and voluntary organisations today called on the Scottish Government to end its policy of “no compulsory redundancies” in the public sector, saying that the policy risked vital services for vulnerable people.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has written to Finance Secretary John Swinney urging him to reverse the policy in order to protect services to vulnerable people provided by charities and voluntary organisations.

In a week several voluntary organisations across Scotland have announced redundancies as a result of cuts. Apex, the charity which works to reduce re-offending rates, is set to cut staff numbers by between 30 and 50 per cent whilst Citizens Advice Scotland is to reduce its staff by 12.5 per cent. The Scottish Refugee Council which provides advice and support for hundreds of people fleeing persecution is to cut 28 per cent of its staff, including frontline workers, after having its funding from the UK Borders Agency slashed by 62 per cent.

Martin Sime, Chief Executive of SCVO said:
“The government’s policy to protect public sector jobs means that public bodies desperate to cut costs are cutting funding to voluntary organisations.

“For Scotland to be successful it needs a thriving third sector. The Scottish Government’s current policy of no compulsory redundancies in the public sector simply exports job losses to the third sector, undermining our ability to support the most vulnerable in our society.

A recent survey of workers in the third sector by SCVO shows that 72 per cent of respondents were either ‘concerned’ or ‘unsure’ about job security in their organisation. The research also showed that over 28 per cent of organisations were taking or considering taking steps to reduce staff numbers.

Sime continued:
“This is the time to invest in the long-term impact the third sector can make, not to make short term cuts that will devastate the sector – especially at a local authority level. We urge the government to reverse its policy and take action now to support services for vulnerable people across Scotland.”



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