Sixth day of action at South Gloucestershire Council

Staff will walk out on Monday 12 June.

Social workers and occupational therapists working for South Gloucestershire Council have announced a sixth day of strike action.

Staff will walk out on Monday 12 June. This follows two days of action earlier this month and three days of action in April.

Staff will protest outside Kingswood Civic Centre between 1pm and 3pm. They had planned to lobby the cabinet meeting, but councillors have taken the decision to postpone their meeting by one week.

UNISON has been in dispute with the local authority since last summer. This is over its decision to award staff in children’s services an additional temporary £3,000 payment on top of their basic annual salary, but not those doing the same job in adult services.

The extra money to retain staff reflects the challenges councils are facing in recruiting and keeping social workers, and UNISON says more staff should receive the supplement.

UNISON South West regional organiser Jayne Jackson said: “Negotiations to date have sadly not led to a resolution. But only through talking will this issue be settled.

“It is a shame that the Council has decided to postpone it’s cabinet meeting, meaning they won’t have the opportunity to speak to our members and show that they value all their social work employees.”

Nick Fryer, a senior social worker at South Gloucestershire Council said: “Central to social work is the importance of equality. By paying our colleagues more, who have the same qualifications as us, for happening to have chosen to work with children and their families is not equitable and we will continue to make that point to the decision makers.

“The latest retention figures show that they are worse now within adult services then they were when the payments were agreed for children services. Yet, senior management refuse to make the case to the Council for the same payment to be made to us.”