Demo To Back Pay Row Council Staff

18 June 2015, 07:15 | Updated: 18 June 2015, 07:18

Hundreds of union activists are set to stage a demonstration in support of homelessness workers who have been on strike for 12 weeks in a pay row.

Around 70 Glasgow City Council employees are in dispute over a re-grading claim and are now involved in one of the country's longest-running current stoppages.

One of the strikers, Stuart Graham, said: "We know this is having a massive impact on people who rely on our service, but we have been left with no option.''

The workers, who help homeless people and deal with tenancy issues, are members of Unison, which is holding its national conference in the city this week.

Many of the 1,000 delegates are expected to join a protest in Glasgow city centre tonight.

A spokesman for the Labour-controlled council said an offer had been made which would lead to workers having a £5,000-a-year pay rise, adding: "We are bitterly disappointed that Unison has rejected this fantastic opportunity for their members to gain a pay rise in excess of £5,000 and advance their careers.

"The offer was open to all of the striking caseworkers and was subject only to those staff demonstrating their competence at the new grade.

"Unison say their members are already doing a job that merits a Grade 6 salary and we simply wish to ensure that all staff are able to work at that level before moving on.

"We have already agreed with Unison that, in the long term, the number of caseworkers working at the Grade 6 level should be 54 members of staff.

"Recent discussions have been about how we move towards that figure in the intervening period as well as the training and support we would provide for staff looking to move up a pay grade.''

A Unison official said: "This is just spin. Why would Unison turn down a fantastic offer? The fact is, our members were only being offered an interview to keep their own jobs, with the council giving them no guarantees at all. This completely ignores the points being made by homeless case workers.

"In truth, this offer will mean a few would get a new job and others would get nothing.

"This strike is now 12 weeks and as solid as ever. Glasgow need to sit down with us and come to a sensible agreement to take us all forward.

"The homelessness case workers want to get back to work as soon as possible to do what they love doing -getting homeless families rehoused and doing the difficult job of supporting some of the most vulnerable people in the city.

"The longer this strike goes on, the more vulnerable people are being let down.''