Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/545/6343
Strike threat produces Glasgow pay victory
All 900 workers in Glasgow council's homes for older people and children/young people have won wage increases after threatening to take all-out indefinite strike action without emergency cover.
Brian Smith, secretary, social work services Glasgow Unison.
The excellent strike ballot result which lead to this threat being made by the Unison branch was 93% in favour on a turnout of 52%. The council knew that the action would have a devastating impact on services and have agreed to move all workers on to the first pay point of the next grade.
This means immediate increases of between £829 - £1,582, with progression to the top of the new grades beginning next year. This is dependent on a "service modernisation" to be agreed with the trade union over the next three months.
The nature of the council's service reforms and a demand that a long-standing pay differential between those in the two types of homes be addressed were the main points of discussion at the members' meetings.
After a number of meetings between the council and representatives from the social work stewards' committee, 85% of members agreed that the union should accept the offer. We can enter the service reform negotiations with confidence that an agreement can be reached on areas such as new working patterns, the building of five "super" older people homes to replace all current homes and new staffing structures across both sectors.
If an agreement is reached on these issues by April 2011, the workers will have seen their pay increase by between £4,200 - £8,500. At this date the basic grade staff in homes for older people would be on £22,590 and those in children/young people units would be on £27,780. The shift allowances on top of this core pay were improved last year after a "work-to-rule" by the same workers and now stand at £3,687 (day shifts) and £7,245 (night shift).
The workers can be proud of the improvements that they have gained and know that they have the strength to confront the council again if the circumstances require it.
This is the latest example of workers in Glasgow council, and in particular within social work services, winning improvements in pay by threatening or actually taking industrial action. It shows once again that workers who are organised and are able to deliver industrial action, win the most from their employers.
Socialist Party National trade union meeting
Saturday 30 August, 11.30am-5pm, London.
- What way forward for the trade unions?
- Building the Socialist Party in the workplace and the trade unions.
For more information, ring 020 8988 8777
In The Socialist 13 August 2008:
The Socialist Diary
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news