Residential workers in Glasgow have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action in a dispute over their pay review grades and council plans to “modernise” residential services.
Workers in the Unison union who work in frontline care at the city’s residential homes for children and the elderly voted by 355 to 25 for strike action.
Council chiefs have responded by threatening to privatise the city’s care home services. Director of social work David Crawford has sent a letter to strikers that warning, “If there is a strike we will be forced to move residents to other care providers.
“Having moved residents out of the council’s care, there can be no guarantee they will return.”
Glasgow council has agreed to move all 900 residential workers onto a higher pay grade – but progression through the grade will depend on negotiations being concluded over management proposals to “modernise” the service.
If no agreement was reached, workers would remain at the first point of the new grade. This offer was rejected at members meetings in a consultative ballot.
Residential workers are now beginning preparations for the beginning of their dispute, which could start from early as the middle of next week
This is the third dispute centred around Glasgow’s “single status” pay reorganisation to head towards industrial action.
Social care workers in the city struck for three weeks in August last year to win a clear-cut victory.
Glasgow’s day care workers also struck for eight weeks late last year, though their dispute has yet to be fully resolved.
The stakes in this dispute are very high. Residential care work is a difficult and emotionally demanding job.
Workers are angry at the injustice of their pay formula and do not want their regrade tied to progression plans or to the management “modernisation” agenda.