Third group of Swindon social workers balloted to join strike action

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‘It's three strikes and you're out’, GMB tells Swindon Council bosses

GMB can announce that it has notified Swindon Borough Council of a third separate industrial dispute ballot for a group of social workers.

The union is balloting 8 out of 10 of the social worker Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) who work for the borough, again over pay.

There are already two other disputes in progress relating to social worker pay, one involving Assistant Team managers, and another involving the out of hours, Emergency Duty Service.

GMB members who are social workers in Swindon will be on strike over Christmas.

Andy Newman, GMB Branch Secretary said:

"Swindon Borough Council is descending into chaos, and a large part of the blame lies with the inexperienced and hapless Labour leadership, who seem to be allowing non-elected officers to run rings round them.

"The Borough Council is now facing three separate strikes, involving three separate groups of social workers, and even though GMB members will be walking out on Tuesday 19 December, the council has still not yet agreed to ACAS talks to resolve the disputes.

"The IROs have an absolutely compelling case, that even the government's own ‘IRO handbook’ says that they should be rewarded as ‘experienced team managers’, but the botched recent pay and grading review at SBC, has left them paid several thousands of pounds less.

"SBC have got themselves in a ridiculous position that GMB have notified them of a new strike every week during December, but the council refuse to act like grown-ups and resolve issues by talking.

“Our message to Council Leader Jim Robbins is his chaotic administration now has three separate groups of staff either going on strike or balloting for strike and as far as GMB is concerned, it's three strikes and you are out."