Derbyshire workers threaten strike

    Approved social workers in Derbyshire have backed further
    industrial action after accusing the council of reneging on a pay
    deal.

    After a work-to-rule campaign, around 35 ASWs were awarded two
    extra points at the top of their payscale in recognition of extra
    duties under the Mental Health Act.

    But last week, they voted 90 per cent in favour of withdrawing from
    all ASW duties in a consultative ballot, and threaten to stage a
    formal ballot next month.

    Unison steward Geoff Johnston accused the council of failing to
    backdate the full amount owed to lower grades, and of wiping out
    the ASWs’ newly won pay differential by introducing a new payscale
    for all social work staff.

    Johnston said that ASW staffing levels still remained at half the
    Department of Health’s recommended levels due to recruitment and
    retention problems.

    A spokesperson for the council said it was “surprised” by the
    ballot and was happy to discuss the issue further.

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