Thomas Bridge 01 April 2015

Pay strike launched by council homelessness staff

Around 70 Glasgow City Council homelessness staff have walked out of town hall offices over a long-running wage dispute.

Striking employees claimed their pay grade was not properly reflecting their work to assess the needs of homeless people, organise support and maintain appropriate accommodation.

Trade union Unison highlighted striking staff were paid between £21,000 and £24,500 a year after the application of the council’s job evaluation scheme. However others doing similar jobs were on the next grade up and earning as much as £30,000 a year.

Glasgow said complaints about the pay difference had been heard at three different levels of the authority and appealed twice, with councillors finding no case for pay re-grading.

Workers have taken industrial action short of a strike since late January.

Unison Glasgow's social work convenor Ian Leech said: ‘These workers have been unfairly treated for years. 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.’

A Glasgow City Council spokesperson said: ‘It is extremely disappointing that Unison has resorted to this course of action.

‘Casework staff are graded at an appropriate level as they work to arrange accommodation for individuals while detailed care assessments are undertaken by other social work staff.

‘A contingency plan has been put in place and any disruption to this service for vulnerable people will be kept to a minimum.’

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