Glasgow’s twenty-one Community Service workers have been on indefinite strike action since 6th January.
by Brian Smith
As they enter their sixteenth week of action they are rock solid. The Council remains intransigent and is still refusing to pay the workers the proper rate for the job under the Council’s own job evaluation scheme. Unison and the strikers are in favour of improving the service and have even suggested ways in which the service could be improved.
However the Council must recognise what the job is worth. Some of the workers face pay cuts of over £2,000. The workers supervise serious, violent and repeat offenders who have been given community service as an alternative to prison. They work on their own every day with five offenders in squad placements undertaking gardening, home decoration, joinery or environmental projects.
The Council also wants the workers to undertake additional duties whilst cutting their pay at the same time. Those workers who will do the same job with offenders who are in individual work placements will be on the higher grade that the strikers are demanding. There has been no community service scheme in Glasgow since 6th January.
At a time when the eyes of the public and the Parliament are on how alternatives to prison can be improved you would think that the largest provider of those services in Scotland would be making serious efforts to resolve an indefinite strike. But no, Glasgow Council is sitting on its hands hoping the strikers will just go away.
The local Unison branch and the wider membership are right behind the strikers with regular collections well supported. The strikers have spoken at scores of workplace meetings, public meetings and other union branches. If you live in Glasgow then please contact your local councillor and ask them to settle this dispute by offering the correct pay grade.
Please consider contributing to the strike fund by sending a donation and messages of support to Glasgow City Unison, 4 Floor, 18 Albion Street , Glasgow , G1 1LH or