In this together? It doesn’t feel that way

SO, David Cameron says we’re all in this together!. Funny but it doesn’t feel that way to me. I have just taken early retirement from Derbyshire County Council (DCC) Social Services Department as the job was literally making me sick. I served 19 1/2 years as a front line Community Care Worker/Social Worker.

I completed a university course of 4 years duration to earn my Certificate of Qualification in Social Work and a BA (Honours) Degree.

I was a frontline worker so I and my colleagues were the people the public came face to face with. In other words we were the public face of DCC’s Social Work Department (Adult Care). Myself and my very hard working and committed colleagues helped to achieve the high standards which were awarded to DCC by the Audit Commission.

We received letters from DCC telling us we had all done very well and that we could still make improvements.

We went through Single Status which was intended to address inequalities within Central Government including pay. As stated previously I was a Qualified Social Worker employed in an unqualified post but involved in almost identical work to that of my colleagues in qualified posts but was paid around £7,000 less than these colleagues. Our Chief Executive said we all had to give and take and that there would be winners and losers.

I naively believed I would be a winner due to the similarities between my work and those of colleagues in qualified posts. There has been a lot of publiciity about how some council employees receive a higher income than the Prime Minister. This was just a diversion tactic as not including expenses, the Prime Minister’s actual annual income package is around £700,000+. Council employees do not receive anywhere near that. What is the difference between ordinary people such as myself and royalty, Cameron, bankers and tax evaders and all other people with exalted salaries? When you cut us do we not bleed the same colour, do we not need food in our bellies, a roof over our head, leisure opportunities and the means to lead dignified and fulfilling lives?

DAVID FOX

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