Together Gibraltar’s press release today is as irresponsible as it is reckless and preys on the emotions of parents of vulnerable children.
Marlene Hassan Nahon specifcally asked a question in parliament on the session last week and was informed that frontier workers who were engaged in the care services on short term contracts would, upon the expiry of such contracts, be replaced by residents of Gibraltar who had been in training. These new members of staff have already undergone work placements and have been shadowing those whose contracts will expire so as to already establish a rapport and relationship with the service users.
There is no question of cuts and this only applies to those workers who have been working in the service for a short period of time. The intention is that by employing resident staff there is less likelihood that there will be a high a turnover.
All workers have been made aware of government policy at the time of their employment and all have been given their contractual notice period of one month before termination.
This is a policy that has been agreed between the Government and Unite the union so that jobs are available to the local workforce.
The management of the Care Agency have been working closely with the outgoing and new staff to enable a smooth transition for the benefit of the services uses.
Marlene Hassan Nahon is perfectly aware of this given the details answers she was given to her Parliament questions not even two weeks ago yet is it is regrettable that she however prefers to completely disregard the information that she was given in order to heighten tensions in this sensitive situation and to use people and prey on their emotions for her own political gain instead.
The Minister for Health and Care, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, said: “We are working to ensure we provide employment in key positions to Gibraltarians. They have been trained by local professionals to the best standards. As a government we believe that Gibraltarians can provide excellent standards of care as they have traditionally provided excellent standards in nursing throughout the health service and the care sector. The persons who will not have their contacts renewed had not expectation of long term employment as they were on fixed term contracts. I understand the human aspects of this issue too and the sensitivity. We are trying to ensure that we provide carers for the long term to people who need them and that we do so from the pool of available local labour so that we do not have similar issues in the future. We do not believe we should be reliant on imported labour to care for our people. We believe this is the best long term plan for the people who need care and for their loved ones and we are sorry that they may not see that right now or that they may be used for partisan political purposes.”