Socialist Worker

Spread the solidarity for Glasgow council’s indefinite strike

by a Glasgow Unison steward
Issue No. 2137

The indefinite strike by Glasgow community service supervisors is entering its fifth week.

The 21 workers are fighting regrading resulting from the council’s single status agreement.

The workers supervise the work placement of individuals sentenced to community service.

The supervisors, who are members of the Unison union, went on strike after exhausting the council’s pay and benefits review and appeal process. The workers believe they have been wrongly graded.

Some workers have lost £2,000 a year but the council still wants them to work five days rather the present four.

They will now be expected to work every Sunday and will receive no recognition for driving mini-buses to work sites.

The supervisors support people with mental health problems, and drug and alcohol issues.

Skilled

Individuals who are sentenced to community service may also have personal difficulties and often little or no previous employment history.

The supervisors are skilled workers and the council has asked them to pass on their skills to the service users.

However the council claims this is not “training” as this would justify the higher grade the workers are demanding.

The council has met representatives from Unison but talks were inconclusive.

The strikers have been visiting social work offices in Glasgow regularly and have collected over £3,000 for their dispute’s hardship fund.

They have also spoken at meetings of Edinburgh City Unison, which donated £500, and Glasgow housing associations Unite branch.

Last week they held a protest outside Glasgow Sheriff Court to publicise the dispute.

The court continues to make orders but the strike action has resulted in no work placements being supervised.

Unison is now holding discussions with members in other sections of criminal justice social work about taking supportive action.

The strikers and their supporters are set to lobby the executive meeting of the council at lunch time on Friday of this week.

Refused

This dispute occurs as clerical workers within social work in Glasgow are discussing industrial action after being refused a £500 “work context” payment.

Council threats to end protection for about 240 workers in “detriment” in April is also causing much discussion in the branch.

Although fightbacks over single status agreements have been sporadic throughout Scotland there remains anger about its imposition.

Councils are setting budgets that will have implications for jobs and services, and are also speeding up plans for semi-privatisation.

It is important that the 21 striking supervisors receive everyone’s full backing.

Lobby Glasgow council, 12.30pm, Friday 6 February, City Chambers. Send messages of support and donations to Glasgow City Unison, 4th Floor, 18 Albion Street, Glasgow G1 1LH


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Article information

News
Tue 3 Feb 2009, 18:26 GMT
Issue No. 2137
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