More strike action planned in Newham

Strike action by over 100 social workers in Newham was a “wake
up call” to the council, Unison claimed.

Unison members voted to strike earlier this month in protest at
the council’s decision to make additional payments of £1,000
to social workers in the children in need team. Unison has argued
that all social workers should receive the payment.

Michael Gavan, branch chairperson of Newham Unison, said the
depth of discontent among staff was illustrated by the fact that
senior practitioners and team managers went on strike alongside
frontline staff.

“It’s clear that the majority of social work staff have lost
confidence in the way management is dealing with this,” he said.
“Unless the council is prepared to sit down and negotiate with us
fairly, we will escalate the action further.”

Staff morale is at rock bottom and turnover is high, Gavan
added. “Unless the department stops taking staff for granted, the
implications are unsustainable caseloads and users suffering.”

Another strike is set for next month (July), unless the council
starts negotiations.



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