Stewart (Unison) from the Glasgow Homeless Careworkers and Ron (Unite) a porter from Dundee Ninewells Hospital spoke to the Edinburgh RIC on May 11th.
Stewart (UNISON Glasgow City branch), a striking Caseworker for the Homeless outlined the dispute his members were involved in with Glasgow City Council (GCC - Labour controlled). They have been involved in all-out indefinite strike action since March 31st, in a dispute over their pay grade. The dispute centres around the fact that caseworkers are paid a grade below that of their colleagues doing 'frontline' jobs in other Social Worker (SW) teams.
They provide both a Homelessness Service and a Housing Options service to some of the most vulnerable in the city, with caseloads in excess of 3500.
To date the GCC SW management have maintained that homeless services are operating in a 'business as usual' capacity, despite the fact that users are being advised that there is no scope to deal with their enquiries unless they are classed as an emergency.
Our members care about the people who relay on this service. However, they have been left with no other option. Their demand is to be treated the same way as the other 400 social care staff who do a similar job.
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Ron (UNITE Dundee) a hospital porter at Ninewells Hospital said that the UNITE porters at Ninewells and Royal Victoria Hospital in Dundee have been forced into strike action. UNITE has shown that errors in the Ninewells/RVH porters being evaluated as band 1, when they should have been evaluated the same as their colleagues in Angus and Perth, as a band 2.
NHS Tayside (SNP government controlled) refuses to acknowledge and rectify this error. It has now withheld porters' wages for time they are actually working, threatening them with dismissal. Management have spent substantial amounts of public money in taking legal action against the union. This was dismissed in the courts.
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