Glasgow Day Care Strike Enters Fifth Week

Industrial action by day care staff in Glasgow has entered its fifth week. The walkout, over pay and conditions, has closed 12 drop-in centres for adults with learning difficulties.

Public sector union Unison said more than 200 staff were on indefinite strike because they had dropped a scale during a pay and benefits review.

Glasgow City Council said workers’ pay was protected until 2009 and talks with Unison must centre on the reform of day centre services.

No talks are planned between the union and the local authority.

Unison said it wanted to discuss the pay review – based on role and responsibilities – which it claimed could see staff lose up to £5,000.

Alison Kelly, Unison day care secretary, said she wanted an immediate review of pay and had “no problem discussing the redesign to the service” – as long as jobs were not lost.

She said: “We want to get back to the table.”

The centres provide respite for carers and opportunities for education, training and employment for those with learning difficulties.

But a Glasgow City Council spokesman said it had been made clear to Glasgow by national inspectors that it must improve its learning disabilities service.

He said there had to be “greater flexibility and support within communities” and staff had to engage in a process of services reform.

The local authority claimed 90% of all council staff had benefited as a result of the pay and benefits review.

It added that day car workers may have the opportunity to retrain as part of a review of the service.

A spokesman said: “There has been absolutely no need for this strike.

“We have the chance to transform the lives of hundreds of people with learning disabilities and see them become more active members of our communities.

“It would be deeply regrettable if this strike action meant we missed the opportunity to change for the better.”

He added: “We would welcome any approach from Unison for further talks.”