Socialist Worker

Glasgow council strike ends

by a Glasgow Unison steward
Issue No. 2154

After 21 weeks on strike, Glasgow community service supervisors have voted to accept an improved offer and end their dispute.

The strikers returned to work on Monday to applause from other members of the Unison union.

The dispute was triggered by a single status pay review. The strikers won big concessions on both of their key demands—pay and weekend working.

Social work management had earlier offered £18, 517 to £20,166 per year with compulsory Sunday working.

All workers will now receive £22,811 for a 35 hour week for a Monday to Friday week. This figure is the second from top point of the pay grade the workers went on strike for.

Unfortunately this offer is linked to a transfer to Glasgow Community Safety Services, a partially council owned “arms length” company. The strikers, members of the Unison union, were aware that the council had been planning this transfer before the strike began.

Community service Unison steward Donald McNaughton said, “We went on strike because management were taking an approach which was unrealistic. They wanted us to work every Sunday which meant if we wanted to take a weekend off we would have had to take annual leave. They were also planning to cut our wages by an average of between two to three thousand pounds.”

“Management did not understand our jobs. They did not evaluate our jobs correctly, and if they did we would not have been on strike.”

Although wary of the dangers of outsourcing, anger over the way they have been treated meant there was little enthusiasm amongst the strikers to remain within social work.

Glasgow Community Safety has plans to expand the service, and the strikers have long-term job security and pension guarantees.

Donald said, “What kept us going was knowing we were right, and the support of our colleagues, Unison and the people of Glasgow, and from all over the country.”

“We have got the grades we wanted. We have got the working pattern that is agreeable to us, and we have got our self respect. I hope that Unison publicises our struggle to show that unions do work.”

“On behalf of the strikers I would like to pass on our grateful thanks to Socialist Worker and its readers for supporting us during our struggle.”

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

Tue 2 Jun 2009, 18:21 BST
Issue No. 2154
Share this article


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.