Date: Tues 18 September
Care regulators ballot over pay delay
Staff at the two organisations that regulate care staff and inspect
Scotland's care homes, today start to vote on industrial action
in an attempt to spur the Government's Public Sector Pay (PSP)Unit
to ok negotiations on a pay rise that was due in April of 2006.
The Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care (SCRC) and the
Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) share offices, conditions
and rates of pay. UNISON, the union that represents the majority
of staff, had asked for a rise of £3.5% or £750 a year ago last
May, but negotiations were held up by discussions to agree a new
Pay and Grading structure.
As a government agency, the two bodies require approval from the
PSP Unit for any pay deal, and the unit has repeatedly rejected
a management submission.
Peter Ritchie, Secretary of the UNISON branch covering the two
employers, said "We have partnership deals with our employers, and
ministers often praise the important work that our members do protecting
vulnerable children and adults - but they don't appear to be willing
to pay for it."
Marion Adamson, UNISON's Regional Officer who deals with members
in central public agencies said "The dead hand of this civil service
unit means that the Scottish Government can effectively block negotiations
and pay bargaining in a whole range of public agencies like these
organisations. Even if we could get agreement with the employers,
this unaccountable body can simply refuse and/or delay a fair pay
deal for our members."
The staff who work to set training and educational standards, register
staff working with children and vulnerable adults, inspect and regulate
care homes and deliver other key protections, will be looking to
take action that minimises impact on vulnerable people, but targets
their employers and government. The industrial action ballot, which
will ask if staff are prepared to take action 'up to and including
strike action', will go out from today (18 September) and will run
for 3 weeks.
For Further Information Please Contact: Peter Ritchie (Scottish
Regulation of Care Branch Secretary) 07766 133 111(m) Marion Adamson
(Regional Officer) 07904 326 812(m) Chris Bartter (Communications
Officer) 0870 7777 006(w) 0771 558 3729(m)