Swindon social workers set dates for strike action
19 social work managers in the borough will strike for 2 days a week for 2 months
GMB, the union for Swindon Borough Council, has announced the dates for the industrial action to be taken by social work managers within the borough.
A total of 19 union members, employed as Assistant Team Managers and Independent Reviewing Officers (including the LADO child allegation experts) will take two days of strike action per week for two months, starting on Tuesday 27 February.
The dispute is over pay, after a pay and grading review, described as ‘botched’ by GMB, has seen their pay and status undermined.
The union are predicting that the strike, if allowed to take place, will jeopardise the council’s plan to recover from its Ofsted evaluation of ‘inadequate.’
Andy Newman, GMB Branch Secretary said:
“Having failed its Ofsted, Swindon Borough Council drew up a ‘Children’s Services Care Improvement Plan’, but has since deliberately demoted the quality control – the very people who had specific roles in that plan to ensure the improvements.
“There has also been an exodus of talent at the senior management level, so SBC has lost their knowledge, and instead of stability, the department is now led by a chaotic team of agency staff.
“GMB are privately being told that children's lives are being put at risk.
“Unbelievably, Swindon Borough Council are rebuffing calls from GMB for ACAS talks, saying they don't know what we want to talk about.
“GMB believes that the buck stops with the incompetent Labour leader, Cllr Jim Robbins and Cabinet child services lead, Cllr Paul Dixon, who need to step up and show some leadership and get this resolved.”