Mark Whitehead 05 April 2023

South Gloucestershire social workers announce pay strike

South Gloucestershire social workers announce pay strike image
Image: RobertoBarcellona / Shutterstock.com.

South Gloucestershire Council said it was committed to engaging with Unison after the union announced a strike by social workers and occupational therapists.

The council said it was dedicated to responding to staff concerns and wanted to create ‘environments where our workforce can thrive’.

The staff were set to walk out for three days this week in a dispute over pay.

Unison says the council decided to award staff in children’s services an extra temporary £3,000 payment on top of their basic annual salary, but not those doing the same job in adult services.

It says the extra money is to retain staff reflects the challenges councils are facing in recruiting and keeping social workers.

The union says figures show a quarter of local authorities are now offering these ‘market-forces’ supplements to attract and keep staff.

The union’s South West regional organiser Michael Sweetman said: ‘Negotiations last week were sadly unable to resolve the dispute.

‘But only through talking will this issue be settled. The council must double its efforts to end the strike by paying up and showing it values all its social work employees.’

A council spokesperson said: ‘The council remains committed to engaging with Unison to meet our shared ambition of investing in career development and preparing our staff for the future challenges social care faces.’

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