Social work staff in West Dunbartonshire vote overwhelmingly to strike

Social work staff in West Dunbartonshire have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action, claiming unsafe practices and unacceptable workloads are putting vulnerable people at risk.

UNISON announced the result of its consultative ballot today (Monday) which revealed a massive 92.3 per cent voted to take strike action. And 100 per cent of those who took part in the ballot voted in favour of action short of strike action. UNISON’s consultative ballot of Children and Families Social Work staff had a turnout of 87.8 per cent.

Simon Macfarlane, UNISON regional organiser, said: “This is a phenomenal result and clearly illustrates the resolve of our members to stand up to unacceptable workloads and unsafe practices in West Dunbartonshire. This is about the safety of workers and vulnerable children and their families and our members are to be congratulated for taking a stand.”

UNISON will be meeting management tomorrow (Tuesday) and is calling for immediate action to put an end to short staffing, unacceptable workloads, unallocated cases and unsuitable arrangements for access meetings.

Simon continued: “Management must heed this crystal clear message from our members and we will not hesitate to move to a formal industrial action ballot to keep our members safe. This is the reality of needless austerity in 2019, workers at breaking point and at-risk children unsupported.

“We have raised our concerns beyond West Dunbartonshire and welcome that Peter Macleod, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate and Lorraine Gray, chief executive of the Scottish Social Services Council, have both confirmed they are raising the matter with the council and the Health and Social Care Partnership. It is now time for the council administration and management to act and ensure the safety of workers, children and families.”

ENDS

For further information:

Simon Macfarlane 07703 194132