Glasgow care workers in 48hr strike over pay cut

CARE home staff staged a noisy rally outside Glasgow's City Chambers in protest over changes to their job roles, work patterns and pay.

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  • Care workers protested outside the City Chambers
    Care workers protested outside the City Chambers
  • Care workers protested outside the City Chambers
  • Care workers protested outside the City Chambers
  • Care workers protested outside the City Chambers
  • Care workers protested outside the City Chambers
  • Care workers protested outside the City Chambers

Around 60 people - workers at the city's council-run elderly care homes and their supporters - blew ­kazoos, shook rattles and chanted as a 48-hour strike continued.

They had gathered outside council offices carrying posters, which read: "Cut our pay, no way," and "An injury to one is an ­injury to all".

Unison claims the council's planned changes would result in some workers ­experiencing a pay cut of up to 7%.

They say the move to 12- and-a-half-hour shifts was forced on staff and that there are concerns over changes to job roles.

But the council says that the proposals, which are due to be introduced on January 26, will create more permanent contracts and mean staff will work fewer unsociable hours.

Katherine Montgomery, 50, who works at a care home in Govan, said ­colleagues felt forced into the new terms.

She said: "We are here ­because we feel we are ­being made to do 12-and-a- half-hour shifts.

"We have got staff who have young children and the new shift patterns mean they won't get to put their children to bed or they will be too late to take over childcare when their partner leaves for work in the morning.

"We are not asking for anything - we just want to keep things the same."

As reported in later edition's of last night's Evening Times, senior managers were drafted in to Glasgow's 15 residential care homes and one home for people with physical disabilities.

Hundreds of staff had ­refused to provide 'life and limb' cover, leading to fears that elderly people - including those who are receiving end-of-life-care - may be put at risk.

There are around 600 residents in the homes, which are spread across Glasgow.

Picket lines had been taking place during shift handover times throughout the day and will continue until the action ends tonight.

Care home workers at the rally said the council was not listening to them.

Geraldine Dempsey, 42, who works in the East End, said: "I'm a temporary worker and I felt I had no choice but to sign the new terms."

Michelle Cowan, 19, a ­social care assistant who works in the South Side, said: "I am here to support the strike because I don't think it's right what the council is doing.

"We are some of the lowest paid staff and they ­expect us to take on extra tasks, like administrating medication."

Agency workers provided cover for the strikers, however the council said the majority of shifts were covered by social work staff.

A spokesman for the council said: "Our contingency plans have been put in place and we are hopeful the service will continue to operate as close to normal as possible."

rachel.loxton@eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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