Local services hit as social workers join mass strike action over pay

Councils report reduced services as social work and social care staff walk out over 1% pay rise offer

Unison members on strike in Leicester on 10 July

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.

More from Community Care

One Response to Local services hit as social workers join mass strike action over pay

  1. Jimmiesta July 10, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    Social Workers fulfill a very demanding role in highly pressurised demanding situations balanced against government / local authority eligibilty criteria’s, service plan objectives and annual savings.

    The role of the social worker however does not change and we pro-actively work towards keeping the people we support safe, promote fulfilling lives / independence balanced against high complex case loads and this is not always possible within a standard working week.

    Added to our roles and responsibilties is the ever growing demand for Best Interest Assessors (BIA’s) which requires time, commitment to ensure our work is completed to a high professional level with the individuals best interests at the forefront.

    I appreciate that as Social Workers / BIA’s we chose to seek work within this field & whilst it’s acknowledged that it’s a challenging but a rewarding profession; it should receive the financial recogniotion that it deserves in light of the roles that we fulfill, the demands placed upon us and the accountability that we are open / subject to.

    The government / local authorities need to take heed of the public sector workers, the roles that they provide and come forth with a more realistic pay rise as otherwise skilled trained professionals will look to the private sector; maybe not out of choice but as as a means to keep up with the ever cost of living.