Workers in the Monitoring and Response Service of ATEC24, previously known as the Community Alarm Service, have endured understaffing, changes imposed without consultation and a toxic workplace culture. The service has experienced radical changes recently with the outsourcing of the call handling element of the Monitoring and Response Officers’ (MRO) job.
In much of this, workers have not had an effective voice. By excluding those that do the job on the ground and know the service best, we have seen a host of issues in the service.
Many workers believe the service is being ‘run into the ground’, with long-term understaffing and a refusal to recruit and exclusion from future planning for the service.
On Thursday, we braved the chill and snow to demonstrate outside the City Chambers in solidarity with fellow trade unionists, activists and concerned citizens as the Council met to approve next year’s budget.
The Council have delivered a balanced budget for 2022/23, thanks to an underspend in 2021/22 and a 3% Council Tax rise, however the forecast for the years following looks bleak, with a gap in 2023/24 of around £55m with this gap increasing around £25m each year thereafter. The Council have said there must be a ‘robust savings plan’—which we know by now, translates to more cuts.
The demonstrators sought to raise awareness of the impact of cuts and call for measures to tackle the crises we face today that will be worsened by further cuts and by failing to change how the Council delivers services. We need a shake up and we need it now.