Many of you may not be aware of the ongoing crisis in the Glasgow Homeless Service. Homelessness is not sexy. It also appears that as 75% of the staff are women there is no need to address this. Time for Glasgow council to provide a fair working space for all their employees
Seventy workers in Glasgow City Council’s Homeless Service walked out on indefinate strike action on the 31st March in a dispute over pay grades.
The workers are all members of the trade union UNISON and will take the action in a dispute over the application of the council’s job evaluation scheme as applied to the role of Homelessness Caseworkers. Three out of every four strikers are women.
UNISON questions who runs council after nine weeks of strike action and threatens action over allegations of strike breaking activities
After nine weeks of strike action Glasgow City Council still refuse to table anything to resolve a dispute with seventy homeless caseworkers. At a meeting today, at which the council was represented by two Labour Councillors and two senior officials, there were sharp exchanges between the two sides.
Ian Leech, UNISON Convenor, said:
“Glasgow City Council today once again demonstrated their contempt for these workers by failing to table anything to resolve a nine week strike. At today’s meeting UNISON questioned who was running the council – unelected senior officers or the elected politicians? We believe that the conduct of this dispute from the council side exposes a dysfunctionality at the heart of the council, with one senior officer openly hostile to the trade union and its members.
The UNISON Glasgow branch will be writing to our national office asking that all political fund payments from UNISON to the Glasgow Labour Party are halted due to the way in which our members are being treated.”
In a further deterioration of relations between the two sides, UNISON states that evidence has come to light that demonstrates that the council is using non-council workers to help assess people’s needs. This evidence indicates that support workers from charities and voluntary organisations are being asked to provide written information on a person’s needs to help managers cover the work of the striking staff. This breaches the current legal rules on strike breaking and may also breach data protection rules. UNISON says it is ironic that a Labour Council is fast-tracking the new anti-trade union laws being proposed by the new Tory Government.
SNP COUNCILLOR MALCOLM BALFOUR SPEAKING AT A MEETING OF THE FULL COUNCIL ON THURSDAY 14TH MAY ASKED WHAT STEPS WERE BEING TAKEN TO RESOLVE THE DISPUTE SAYING THE WORKERS HAVE A RIGHT TO THIS UPGRADE AND I AM SERIOUSLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE EFFECT THAT THIS ACTION THAT THE WORKER HAVE BEEN FORCED INTO TAKING WILL CREATE A FURTHER PROBLEM FOR THE SERVICE USERS, I HAVE ALSO ASKED WHAT THE COST TO GLASGOW IS IN PUTTING THOSE USERS UP IN HOTELS IN THIS AND OTHER AUTHORITIES I URGE THE COUNCIL TO RESOLVE THIS DISPUTE QUICKLY AND GIVE THE CASE WORKERS THE UPGRADE THEY DESERVE