Socialist Worker

Glasgow social workers' unofficial action wins

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2371

Social workers in Glasgow have taken unofficial action and won.

The Unison union members won the reinstatement of a suspended colleague after three days of defying the anti-union laws with unofficial strikes.

Ten social workers walked out unofficially last Friday. The dispute quickly spread to involve the whole of the Homeless Service of Glasgow City Council Social Work Services.

Workers unanimously agreed to end the walkout today, Wednesday. In a statement they said this was, "on the grounds that the suspended member was reinstated with no disciplinary action being taken".

A boss had suspended the worker for refusing to cover for vacant posts.

The suspension ignited a wider anger about the strain of excessive workloads and cuts to funding and jobs. These issues fuelled the dispute and also won solidarity from workers across the council workforce.

The statement said, “The show of solidarity between members has been very encouraging for the fight against high workloads and understaffing within all departments.”

Workers ended the walkout on the understanding that an outstanding grievance over workloads “will be progressed as a matter of urgency”.

Initially the grievance was for one area team but this has now turned into a collective grievance of all homeless casework teams in the city.

Workers expect a strike ballot “should there be an unsatisfactory outcome”. They thanked all those who offered support, after receiving solidarity messages from around the world, saying it boosted them in their fight.

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Wed 18 Sep 2013, 20:38 BST
Issue No. 2371
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