Social care staff join strike in Scotland

(Image courtesy of Unison Scotland)

Social care professionals are among tens of thousands of local government workers striking in Scotland in a dispute over pay.

Members of Unison, Unite and GMB began the 24-hour walkout this morning after rejecting the employers’ offer of a 2.5% rise each year from 2008 to 2011.

A spokesperson for Unison, which has a local government membership of 100,000 in Scotland, said about 150,000 workers were on strike, as predicted.

Day-care centres for older people are among the services to have shut for the day.

Union apology

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis is visiting picket lines outside local authority offices. He said members “care deeply about the vital services they provide and those who depend on them and we apologise for any disruption”.

He added: “However, members feel that they have no choice when the employers’ offer is in effect a pay cut.”

The Unison spokesperson said there were exemptions for emergency social workers in services such as child protection, plus minimum levels of staff in residential care homes and essential home care services.

Scottish councils body Cosla announced its intention to hold talks with unions as soon as possible.

The strike is scheduled to end at 10pm.

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