Socialist Worker

Social workers at Kirklees council plan a two-day strike against outsourcing

by Nick Ruff, Kirklees Unison chair (pc)
Issue No. 2560

Many workers have faced the threat of outsourcing, such as these strikers in Barnet

Many workers have faced the threat of outsourcing, such as these strikers in Barnet (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Social workers at Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire were set to strike on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

Unison union members working in Children’s Services are involved in a longrunning dispute over pay, workloads, agency staff, bullying, IT systems, accommodation and travel plans.

The dispute is reaching a critical stage.

The council has announced that Kirklees Children’s Services will remain in house, but that Leeds Council will provide a management lead.

This follows an investigation carried out by Eleanor Brazil, which began after an inadequate Ofsted report at the end of last year.

Tory education secretary Justine Greening appointed Brazil as the Children’s Services Commissioner in the wake of the Ofsted report.

Unison members have welcomed the news that the service will remain in-house. This is better than the outsourcing of the Children’s Trust that Brazil had recommended.

But workers are not prepared to drop their demands to resolve their longrunning grievances.

Kirklees Unison will be calling meetings of members to organise the two days of strikes.

It also intends to have a rally on the first strike day to discuss further action if required.

The union is appealing for messages of support and donations to the strike fund to build solidarity.

We have received many responses over the last six months from other Unison branches organising in local government. They show that the grievances of our members are shared by social work staff across Britain.

Send messages of support to Kirklees Unison, 4 New North Parade, Huddersfield, HD1 5JP Fax 01484450174

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

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