Social workers and social care staff are among the million-plus public sector workers thought to be taking part in a mass strike over pay today.
The strike follows the rejection of a 1% pay rise offer for local government workers by the Unison, Unite and GMB unions.
Councils across the UK are reporting that the walk out has resulted in some social care services closing for the day although many say that emergency and safeguarding services for vulnerable adults and children will be operating as usual.
In Bristol, children and adult services have been reduced to handling emergency and essential safeguarding work while Redcar & Cleveland Council has been forced to close its learning disability and older people day services.
Leeds City Council says the strike has resulted in the suspension of adult day services for people with dementia, learning disability resource centres and mental health day services.
In Cardiff children’s services are operating at a reduced level although the council says that emergency calls or urgent safeguarding concerns will be dealt with as normal.
Leicester City Council says its Hastings Road, Layton House and Douglas Bader adult day service centres are shut.
However, many councils do not yet know the full extent of how their services will be affected by the strike.
The walk out follows the collapse in pay talks between local government employers and the Unison, Unite and GMB unions.
In addition the National Union of Teachers, the Fire Brigade Union and several other unions have also gone on strike over their own pay disputes.
Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trade Union Congress, said: “Across the public sector workers are on strike today to say enough is enough. Year after year pay has failed to keep up with the cost of living. Public sector workers are on average more than £2,000 worse off under this government.”
Ahead of today’s strike, the Local Government Association (LGA) said it was “disappointed” that union members had backed industrial action and insisted that the walk out would make no difference to its offer. “This strike will not change the pay offer we have made, but it will mean those who take part lose a day’s pay,” said a LGA spokesman.
- Are you taking part in today’s strike or is your service affected? Send us your feedback or photos from the day.