Southwark Primary Care Trust’s speech and language therapists have voted by a large majority to take strike action on Thursday, February 3rd over cuts to their service and job losses at their trust.
job losses will have a huge impact on many vulnerable children and will impact directly on the community they live in. Eight speech and language therapists (SaLT) and three SaLT assistants working across Surestart children’s centres, schools and community clinics across south London will lose their jobs.
Unite regional officer, Richard Munn, said:
“Our members, who work with children with speech, language and communication difficulties, have decided to take a stand against the cuts being made which will have a detrimental effect on some of the most vulnerable children and families in our society.
“There is clear evidence that when communication problems are not addressed at an early stage it is far harder to address in later life. Undetected and untreated speech, language and communication problems can lead to low levels of literacy, poor educational attainment and difficulties finding employment.”
Evidence shows that early intervention gives children a better chance of adapting and succeeding in mainstream schools, making friends and living a happy and fulfilling life.
Richard Munn said: “By removing funding to the posts that offer this support, many vulnerable people in Southwark will find it even harder to access early intervention therapies necessary and feel they are effectively being abandoned by this government.”
These people are showing a lead that all of us should follow in the battle against the onslaught of Public Sector Cuts.
While thousands are flocking to the cinema to see how someone from a privileged background was cured of his speech problems ordinary working class families will be denied similar treatment for their children who may suffer from speech problems.
Below is a message from Steve Hack Unite Workplace Rep Southwark PCT
In the Year of Speech, Language and Communication it is appalling that
highly skilled clinical staff - one third of the existing Speech and
Language Therapy department in Southwark - are losing their jobs. This will
mean greatly reduced services for vulnerable children and families, and
increase pressure on the remaining staff.
Early intervention services help to raise educational achievement, help
young people with communication difficulties to gain the skills needed to
access employment, and reduce the longer term costs to the public of poverty
and employment-related benefits.
Everyone who cares about services for vulnerable children should support the
strike by Speech and Language Therapists on February 3rd, send messages of
support, and come to the public rally on February 2nd.
Southwark PCT must withdraw their notices that have put the eleven NHS staff
at risk. We call on the Secretary of State for Health, Southwark PCT and
Southwark Council to act immediately to ensure that existing Speech and
Language Therapy jobs and services are protected.