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GSD echoes Unite concerns over elderly care

GSD Headquarters. Photo by Eyleen Gomez.

The GSD has backed Unite’s recent call for transparency on the future of the Elderly Residential Services and the Gibraltar Government’s plans for the new Rooke residential home.

The GSD was reacting after Unite issued a statement last week and said its members at ERS were concerned about the impact the new facility could have on their terms and conditions of employment, job security and potential relocation.

The Union had sought a meeting with the Government but said an initial date had been postponed for a month.

It said there was “growing distrust” as to the Government’s long-term plans in this sector.

For the GSD, the union’s experience mirrored its own experience in Parliament.

“We have quite frankly faced a stone wall when we do to drill down as to the intention and plans of the Government,” said GSD MP Daniel Feetham.

“It is not surprising that there are concerns about the direction of travel of public services and whether the true intentions of the Government is to privatise all or some of the services carried out by the ERS.”

“No one should be in any doubt as to our position.”

“We oppose privatisation of the ERS or the services it offers and if that is the direction of travel, it is the result of many years of financial mismanagement by the Government, which we have been drawing attention to for the last ten years or a move to contractorise this service in an opaque way without full debate.”

“It is also unclear what the Government intend to do with the Mount Alvernia site if residents are transferred to the new Rooke residential home.”

“The Minister has already said that the Rooke site will ‘eventually replace’ Mount Alvernia even though he says the residents will not be forced there and have an option.”

“Whether the standard of care will be the same as in the current site is also unclear.”

“We can well understand that staff are concerned about this lack of clarity on the impact on their jobs.”

“Finally and with respect, whilst the Minister responsible has not been well and we all wish him a speedy recovery, someone else within the Government could have met with Unite in order to deal with their legitimate concerns and those of their members.”

“Increasingly this appears to be a tired and out of touch Government.”

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