Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/499/3065

From The Socialist newspaper, 24 August 2007

Glasgow council workers' victory: United strike action wins

Glasgow Social Workers on strike , photo Duncan Brown

Glasgow Social Workers on strike , photo Duncan Brown

After 20 days of all-out, indefinite strike action, over 600 Glasgow social care workers won a clear victory. "Pay hike joy for striking council staff" was the headline in a recent issue of Glasgow's Evening Times. Jamie, a striking social care worker from the Gorbals area team summed it up: "There's no doubt this is a major victory."

Brian Smith, UNISON secretary Glasgow social work services, personal capacity

More than 600 workers have had their job upgraded to a wage of 24,200, without the need for any formal qualifications - higher than the rate on which some local authorities start qualified social workers. Negotiations on getting as many through as possible to the rest of the scale to 28,300 presents the next challenge.

For almost 400 workers, including those newly recruited, the deal means a wage increase of between 1,000 and 2,400 immediately. The 200 workers who were on 'protected' wages' as part of a pay and benefits review will now see their pay consolidated.

This comes shortly after another victory. In December 2006, 12,000 Glasgow UNISON members threatened to strike without emergency cover and stopped pay cuts for over 3,000 council workers. These victories show that industrial action can deliver improvements for workers and their families.

A mass meeting on 10 August, after three weeks of incredibly solid strike action, voted more than 3:1 in favour of accepting what was the council's third offer. Members stood and applauded together after the vote. There was a real sense of unity. Mick, from the Maryhill team, commented: "This is a great accomplishment. We got what we demanded".

The deal represents a clear victory against a hard-nosed employer. The council forced the strike but completely misjudged the mood of these workers and the support they would receive.

There are many lessons from this dispute. Firstly, the justice of the UNISON members' case was clear. Members will only endure the hardship and worries of strike action if they are clear about what they want.

Secondly, the UNISON branch and the stewards' committee communicated well with members. Emails, postal mailings, the branch's website and a "strike organising committee" that met every day at 11am were used effectively.

Thirdly, the 11am meetings allowed those members who wished to do more to come together and organise street collections, lobbies of the council, assist at workplaces that needed help with picket lines, plan publicity work, etc.

Mass meetings

Glasgow Social Workers on strike , photo Duncan Brown

Glasgow Social Workers on strike , photo Duncan Brown

Lastly, and most crucial, were the twice weekly mass meetings. Many members commented on how important these were.

This victory will stimulate discussions within UNISON. It will give confidence to all workers battling over the implementation of the Single Status Agreement. The dispute has also raised with other social work departments and policy makers the issue of staff who do not possess the full social work degree (often referred to as "para-professionals") and what should they be paid. This has been a source of conflict for over three decades.

Members of the International Socialists, the Socialist Party's counterpart in Scotland, who also make up an active part of Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement, played a key role in the strike. Two were part of the four-person negotiating team and played central roles in the mass meetings. Another chaired the daily 11am meetings.

Several other members of Solidarity were key in the organisation of the street collections which raised almost 20,000. Ruth Black, Solidarity councillor, was the first elected politician to speak at any of the mass meetings and was given a warm reception.

The strike was a success on many fronts. The stewards' committee and the wider branch must use the gains made to build for future actions, strengthen the union at its base by recruiting new stewards and encourage even more members to play a role in the democratic running of their trade union.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 24 August 2007:

Stop climate change

Heathrow expansion protests

Thousands march in Tewkesbury


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Social class in Britain today


Socialist Party review

The War on Democracy


Workplace news

Glasgow council workers' victory: United strike action wins

Postal dispute: If talks don't deliver - escalate the action

TUC conference fringe meeting

Belfast airport workers' victory


Socialist Party editorial

World economy fundamentally unsound


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NGH hospital Sheffield: Pay cuts "the thin end of the wedge"


Socialist Party news

Boris Johnson - buffoon or bonus for Tories?

Potty about Potter


 

Home   |   The Socialist 24 August 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Strike:

triangleArriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleStriking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Council workers:

triangleSurveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

triangleBin workers vote to continue action following rally

triangleBron Afon workers strike against 3,000 pay cut

triangleBin workers stand firm

Glasgow:

triangleWhere is Scotland going?

triangleGlasgow jannies win famous victory against council cutters

triangleGlasgow janitors win famous victory

Unison:

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleThe fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2