Wiltshire Social Workers announce 3 months of strike action
24 of the 25 social workers in the county’s out of hours emergency service to strike every weekend until 19 May.
Members of GMB, the union for Wiltshire Council, have today informed their employer that they will be taking strike action every weekend for three months.
The dispute centres around a proposed pay cut by the council, which would see a contractual out-of-hours bonus removed, costing some staff up to 20 per cent of their annual salary.
The strike is an escalation of a dispute by GMB members across the council which has been running for 2 years and has seen 11 days of strikes by traffic wardens.
Andy Newman, GMB Branch Secretary said:
“It is ironic that while Wiltshire Council's elected Conservative administration is boasting of being in a sound financial position, the officers of the council are threatening to rip up the contracts of frontline staff, and justifying the cuts by an alleged financial emergency. Someone's not telling the truth.
“The council claims that's its investment in children’s services is saving money through reducing the costs of later interventions, but the Chief Executive Terence Herbert and HR Director Tamsin Kielb are threatening those social workers with Fire and Rehire, and they would each lose from £500 to £750 per month of contractual guaranteed pay.
“GMB has been warning the council for some time that this will destroy the service, by making it harder to attract and retain workers with the right levels of qualification and experience.
“The council is threatening that ‘pay protection’ will not be given to staff unless they voluntarily agree to this contract change.
“GMB are clear that forcing members to waive away their pay is bullying and that is why our members are taking strike action.”