Date: Thurs 5 July 2007
Key Glasgow social care staff may strike
Nearly 600 social care staff working for Glasgow City Council
may end up on strike from next Monday (9 July) in a dispute over
job grading UNISON, the union that represents Scotland's Social
Work staff said today.
The staff manage the cases for children at risk, vulnerable adults
and offenders, assess needs, monitor the services that support the
person or family and are accountable to the Children's Panel, Courts
and formal Community Care Reviews. They manage the cases for all
methadone users in the City.
They have voted by a majority of 96% to take part in a 'work-to-role'
from Monday in protest at a council pay and grading review that
has downgraded their jobs and left many of them facing a loss of
£1,000 a year. Glasgow City Council has threatened any staff taking
part in this protest with suspension, which will provoke a strike
from the other staff.
The staff say that the 'role profile' that the job evaluation has
left them on, does not cover all the job they perform, and - as
the council has refused to re-evaluate their jobs, they will stop
doing the parts of the jobs that are not covered.
These include cases and reports for Children's Panels; cases and
reports for Court; case hearings for adults with incapacity, direct
payments or shared/comprehensive assessments. The staff will refuse
to continue with those parts of the job from 11.00am on Monday.
Brian Smith, Secretary of UNISON's Glasgow Social Work Stewards
said "The members have clearly been allocated to the wrong role
profile by the council's job evaluation exercise, but despite the
opportunity to address the problem at the review hearing the employer
failed to take it. They therefore voted overwhelmingly to demonstrate
what working to the role allocated would mean. Members have not
only lost faith in the process but are now being bullied by their
employer and threatened with suspension for exposing the failings
of the exercise."
The council has so far not approached the union to discuss emergency
cover, and UNISON is angry at council statements attempting to pin
the blame for loss of service to users on these staff.
Brian Smith said "Far from being 'cruel and cynical' these are
the staff that work day-after-day to ensure that people get their
support to enable them to live full lives. They will only be on
strike if the council removes them from their job by suspending
them. The council are the people using the vulnerable to force through
a downgrading of care work. No-one wants a strike in this area,
and the council could resolve it tomorrow."
Note for editors: The Fieldwork Social Care Workers voted
by 96% for action short of a strike. In a second ballot they voted
by 87% for strike action.
For Further Information Please Contact: Brian Smith (Secretary
- Glasgow SW Stewards) 07870 914 361 (m) Many McDowall (Regional
Officer) 07903 846 427(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer)
0771 558 3729(m)