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Wed 4 February 2009

Community Service strikers to lobby Parliament

Glasgow Council's 21 Community Service Supervisors, on strike for five weeks over proposals by Glasgow Council to cut their pay, are to lobby the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (Thursday 5th February).

The supervisors remain on indefinite strike action, but the Council remain intransigent and are still refusing to withdraw the pay cuts the strikers face under "service reform" proposals.

The members will be lobbying parliament from 10.30 onwards and will be handing in a letter of protest to the Justice Minister, Kenny MacAskill MSP, highlighting their dispute.

There will also be a rally outside the Glasgow City Chambers on Friday 6th Feb at 12.30pm

Brian Smith, Secretary of UNISON's Social Work Stewards said: "The failure of Glasgow City Council to address the causes of this dispute has driven the members to approach politicians in the Scottish Parliament. Already Sandra White MSP and Robert Brown MSP have agreed to meet the members to seriously discuss the problem - which is more than their employer has agreed to do in the five weeks they have been out. They will be pointing out to politicians that plans to increase the amount of Community Service handed out are being stymied by this dispute in Scotland's largest authority."

ENDS

Note for Editors
Community Service Supervisors supervise serious, violent and repeat offenders who have been given community service as an alternative to prison. They work on their own every day with five offenders undertaking gardening, home decoration, joinery or environmental projects. The Council want to give them additional duties - assessing work requests from the public, developing new placements, training offenders, placing offenders in appropriate squads and assessing offenders "attitude, development and employability" and bring compulsory increase in hours and days worked.

The Council want to pay them Grade 4 for this new job. The job should be Grade 5 under the Council's grading system, and workers doing the same job with offenders in individual work placements will be on Grade 5. The new grade also still leaves many of our members facing pay cuts of over 2,000 caused by the Council's 2007 equal pay review.

The cuts in pay affect all those who currently drive (the majority) and weekend working staff. For example a Supervisor who drives and works every Saturday and Sunday currently earns around 21,000 pa. Council pay offered is 18,500. A wage cut of 2,500 The basic core pay proposed is 16,000, (without the driving monies or weekend enhancements). This is too low and does not reflect the value of the new job under the Council's own job evaluation scheme.

For Further Information Please Contact: Brian Smith (Secretary - Glasgow SW Stewards) 07870 914 361 (m) Donald McNaughton (Steward - CS Supervisors) 07988 038 805(m) Mandy McDowall (Regional Officer) 07903 846 427(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)

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