Glasgow Council has said it is “baffling” why more than 600 social care workers remain on strike in protest at their job grade despite an offer from the local authority to upgrade more than one-third of them.
The claim comes with Unison and the council due to meet today to try and settle the dispute, which has now lasted for over three weeks.
The social care workers, who manage cases not handled by qualified social workers, say a council job evaluation had wrongly placed them in “role profile” five, not six, which would better reflect their role.
Last week, Unison members rejected an offer for 267 of them to be moved up a grade as a result of having two years’ experience as a social care worker and an HNC/SVQ Level three qualification in social care, and showing they could take on more complex work.
The council said the remaining social care workers would also move up to role profile six – where pay is more than £5,000 greater than in role profile five at the top end – on meeting the qualifying criteria.
However, social care workers overwhelmingly rejected the proposal, while their social worker colleagues are being balloted to take action strike action in support, with a result due next week.
A Glasgow Council spokesperson said: “It is baffling that they would continue to strike, and ask others to strike in support of them, in the face of an offer such as this.”
However, Brian Esdale, a Unison steward and social care worker in an older people and physical disability team, said the strikers would only accept an upgrade for all staff, adding: “It’s all or nothing at this stage.”
He said Unison members were starting to “feel the pinch”, given their loss of wages, but added: “The resolve is stronger than ever. It’s not about money, it’s about worth and value.”
The council spokesperson said care services were being prioritised on the basis of vulnerability and risk to cope with the strike.