Monthly Archives: January 2015

Jenny Sealey’s concerns over the National Framework Agreement.


Graeae Theatre Director & Stop Changes campaign spokesperson, Jenny Sealey has expressed her concern over the new national framework for interpreting that is being looked at by the DWP to provide AtW interpreters, saying “at the moment the framework is vague, and yes, I’m concerned”.

She asks us to “come together, to support our interpreters, to support the Deaf community and to support the new generation…”.

The framework would undoubtedly reduce interpreting standards as the government look to drive down costs. We have seen the consequences that a framework has by lowering of interpreters fees, terms and conditions from the ministry of justice example.

The national framework agreement for interpreting is of huge concern to us at Stop Changes, as we fear the repetition of the recent 30 hour rule situation. The DWP explained that AtW users not wishing to use an interpreter would be given a reduced budget at the equivalent rate. This mirrors the 30 hour rule, where customers would only receive the capped rate of £18.19 per hour if they refused to employ full time support.

Along with ourselves, the National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters (NUBSLI), have said they oppose the framework. This also appears to be the stance of the BDA (see their announcement here).

Jenny urges us all to support NUBSLI, explaining “we have to fight, we have to challenge the government”.

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Basic maths!

We were pleased to read the article that appeared in today’s Guardian about Access to Work. Read it here.

We are campaigning for common sense.

This is very nicely outlined in this piece. Removing people’s support will cost more in the long run.

Still no proper response to the Work & Pension Select Committee recommendations or news from the government over their plans for the scheme.

DWP on verge of repeating AtW mistakes.

NUBSLI, the National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters met with the DWP yesterday and can report that the DWP, instead of listening to the concerns and recommendations made by the Work & Pension Select Committed, seem about to repeat these very mistakes again.

It is clear that the DWP will contract ATW services using the framework agreement. What does this mean?

– No choice and control.
– No safeguarding (as subcontracted services do not have to adhere to providing NRCPD or registered RSLI/TSLIs)
– Caps to interpreter fees should you not wish to use the framework agreement etc.

Lessons have not been learnt from the past eighteen months.

There has been no consultation with the Deaf community. Again.
There has been no consultation with interpreters. Again.

Deaf BSL users are being represented by four organisations: BDA, NDCS, AOHL and Signature. One of these organisations has already registered an interest in tendering as a business, yet are still be used to ‘advise’ the DWP.

Where is the consultation with Deaf people and interpreters?

What can you do?

Contact the BDA and ask for a membership consultation.
Contact ASLI and ask for a membership consultation.
Contact VLP and ask for a membership consultation.
Write to your local MP and ask for their support.
Write to Mark Harper MP.

What are we doing?

We have raised this issue with supportive MPs and are working closely with our friends in NUBSLI.

We will be meeting with Leigh Day and will ask for advise over the consultation process and whether this has been adhered to.