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Glasgow casework strike

May 04 2015
Support for the caseworkers is widespread Support for the caseworkers is widespread
Seventy workers demand an end to unfair pay

Glasgow City Council Homeless Service workers have been strike for over a month in protest over their treatment by the council.

Since 1 April, disputes over unfair pay have seen 70 workers – who have approximately 3,000 people on their caseloads combined – go on an unofficial indefinite strike, claiming they are being paid significantly less than those in similar positions.

They are backed by UNISON, Scotland’s largest public service union. Ian Leech, UNISON Glasgow Social Work Convenor, said: “These Glasgow caseworkers are striking because their jobs should have been graded the same as other frontline staff in addiction services or older people’s teams.

“They have been very patient and hoped that the matter would be addressed by the council; indeed, over the years some managers have informally said that they agree with the trade union position.

“Our members care about the people who rely on the service which they provide; however, they have been left with no other option. All they are looking for is to be treated the same as the other 400 social care staff who do a similar job.”

It is understood that managers are filling in for staff, with some homeless people claiming they have been turned away because there are not enough case workers to help them access emergency accommodation.

However, others claim its business as usual as many are regularly turned away from the Hamish Allan Centre (which provides emergency accommodation) and they don’t always expect help. Glasgow Homelessness Network statistics showed that up to in some months, over half of those who seek emergency helped were turned away.

Grant Campbell, chief executive for Glasgow City Mission, said: “The people we are working with on the street have not seen any immediate impact due to the strike, but only time will tell.”

It is not yet clear when the strike will end, with workers standing firm and pledging not to return to work until their terms are met. Glasgow Council were contacted but were unavailable for comment.