Swindon social worker strike paused to allow for talks

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Meetings with Swindon Borough Council were constructive but there are still fundamental parts of the dispute to be resolved, says GMB

Members of GMB Union, the union for social workers, have paused planned strike action tomorrow [Friday], Saturday and Sunday as a good will gesture to allow for more talks. 

Swindon social workers walked out today over Swindon Borough Council removing a £700 per month unsocial hours payment for working evenings and weekends.   

The social workers provide the Emergency Duty Service and are a team of seven highly experienced social workers, who deal with serious issues such as child protection and mental health crises. 

However if no acceptable resolution is found the strike will resume from Monday morning at 00.01hours.  

Andy Newman, GMB Branch Secretary said:  

“GMB and our members attended meetings with Swindon Borough Council yesterday [Wednesday] and today which were in part constructive. At first the council failed to invite GMB to the first meeting and tried to meet the workers without their chosen union in attendance. 

“The council's failure to invite GMB to yesterday's meeting was very provocative.   

“Making an offer direct to union members and bypassing the union is unlawful [1]. We are disappointed that a Labour council is attempting to use these union busting tactics. 

“We are however pleased that the council met with GMB today in a proper attempt to resolve things  

“Our message continues to be to call on the council to engage in meaningful talks tomorrow which ensure these members do not lose any money, are properly rewarded for the specialist work they do and take steps to repair the damage done by this.” 


Media enquiries: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to Editors:

[1]Section 145 of the Trade Union Labour Relations Consolidation Act 1992 – Unlawful inducement  

[2] If talks are unsuccessful then the strike will begin again on Monday at 00.01hrs until Wednesday 13th September and then every weekend after that until Christmas 2023