Nottingham social workers have been given permission to strike by
the High Court despite claims that industrial action could have
fatal consequences for clients.
In a ballot held by Unison earlier this month 35 approved social
workers (ASWs) opted for industrial action following disputes with
the city council over backdated pay. Last week, a judge granted the
council a temporary injunction banning the strike, but Mr Justice
McKay at the High Court this week revoked the court order, giving
the workers the go-ahead to take industrial action.
The row centres on the council’s alleged refusal to come up with
backdated pay for ASWs. Richard O’Dair, for the council, had argued
that giving the ASWs permission to strike would lead to some
mentally ill users being “unable to obtain the emergency care they
need”, with potentially “fatal consequences”.
The barrister argued the union’s strike plans amounted to an
“unlawful interference” in the “business” of the council.
But Mr Justice McKay said the council was unable to prove that its
“activities” as regards social workers amounted to a “business” in
the true sense of the word.