Children’s Social Care restructuring = unfairness and uncertainty

Andy Tullis, convener of the Children’s Social Care department, spells out the latest problems with the current restructuring that management are pushing through


The restructuring in Children’s Social Care could see as many as 20 posts being lost, with a further 13 in the Multi-Agency Team (MAT). The Children’s Social Care “Redesign” was intended, Lambeth Say, to sort out problems with the service identified by 2015’s OFSTED inspection. UNISON believe it is achieving nothing of the sort and coupled with the recent Severance Trawl threatens more instability and lack of continuity by losing experienced and dedicated staff unnecessarily, precisely the kind of problems which led to OFSTEDs “inadequate” rating in the first place! Is it any wonder morale in teams is slowly sinking?

Let’s remind Lambeth the OFSTED report 2015 clearly identified failures in Senior Management, Leadership and Governance not the practice of front line staff. Yet Lambeth have seen fit to ‘delayer’ Team Managers even though these posts still exist in the new structures and vacant posts are available due to a number of managers leaving on voluntary severance. UNISON believe it is perverse to threaten any staff with compulsory redundancy when there are vacant posts available.

It’s unbelievable that Lambeth are now employing more agency managers to cover teams where the previous manager took severance, at a time when they have rejected the Assimilation Claims of their permanent team managers and deputy team managers who could be seamlessly assimilated into those posts.

UNISON have never accepted that any permanent staff need to lose their jobs in the “Redesign” and have lodged a Trades Dispute with the Council to demand “No Compulsory Redundancies”.

The current Multi-Agency Team/Troubled Families restructure is a flagrant betrayal of dedicated staff by the Council. Let’s also remind Lambeth the MAT/TF Teams were commended by OFSTED in 2015, their service saved Lambeth from an even more damning inspection report, yet those same staff are now being restructured out of a job. Again UNISON have asserted that there are enough posts to people in the structures to make redundancies unnecessary, new posts in the structures are broadly similar and Unison have proved staff could be assimilated.

Perhaps Lambeth think this “clear-out” attitude (that Unison warned of) is a strategy for improvement that will somehow impress OFSTED and the DfE, but this ridiculous way of restructuring is a potential recipe for chaos in the run up to further inspection. Betraying loyal, dedicated and experienced staff is no way to improve a service or run a council.

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