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Bolton council workers to ballot for strike action

Issue No. 2066

Council workers in Bolton are set to ballot next month to strike over changes to their working conditions.

Some 381 workers in the Unison union are affected. They work in residential support services for children, the elderly or adults with mental health problems or learning disabilities.

The changes mean workers will no longer be paid for sleep-ins – when they provide care overnight – during periods of holiday or sickness.

Workers were told they would lose their jobs if they did not sign new contracts.

In a consultation exercise, more than 80 percent indicated they would be willing to strike against the changes, which have been put forward as part of £11 million budget cuts.

Florence Hill, chair of Bolton Unison, said, “Staff being asked to sleep-in while on duty has always been a much cheaper option for the council than employing waking night staff.

“The £30 a night that workers receive is way below the national minimum wage. Our members provide invaluable support to vulnerable people.

“Care workers are on call throughout the night while they are at work so they rarely get a decent night’s sleep.”

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Tue 28 Aug 2007, 18:17 BST
Issue No. 2066
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