James Dornan MSP for Cathcart was joined by his SNP MSP colleagues in writing to Gordon Matheson about the on-going homeless case workers strike at Glasgow City Council which is still unresolved. It is time for Cllr Matheson to lead and ensure that this strike comes to a suitable and timely end. The text of the letter is as follows;
Cllr Gordon Matheson
Glasgow City Council
03 June 2015
Dear Cllr Matheson,
RE: Glasgow Homeless Caseworkers Strike.
We are contacting you with regards to the on-going homeless case-workers strike which is now entering week 10 without any real signs of resolution. As MSP’s for Glasgow who deal day in and out with constituents who are requiring assistance from the homeless casework team, we appreciate the work they do under difficult circumstances to try and help some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We firmly believe that they should be paid fairly for the work that they do. We have been made aware that Glasgow City Council refused to meet with the workers on strike for almost 9 weeks and consider this to be complacent, disrespectful and counter-productive if the council is truly seeking an amicable solution to this dispute. However we are glad to see that talks have now taken place that, at least, is a start.
We note the most recent proposal laid in front of the union has at least conceded that PCS5 Grade 6 is a requirement to deliver the service, a point the union have always argued. Where the proposal appears to fall short is in putting every striking caseworker in to the appropriate band – this proposal would only put 2/3 in to the appropriate band with the other 1/3 of the workforce redeployed at current grade or offered voluntary severance. This would cause a shortage in staff in one of the most vital services that the local authority provides.
We know from recent undercover reports in the Evening Times that the homeless service is one that is under considerable strain, and we agree with our colleague Cllr Aitken that Cllr Cunning can no longer continue to bury his head in the sand and hope that the problems that he is presiding over go away without intervention. They won’t.
We believe that the council need to retain the workforce that they have - all of whom should be appropriately graded – and end the cycle of perpetual under resourcing of this crucial service. At the very least you need to put in place a budget neutral proposal that the union can take back to their striking members.
We look forward to hearing from you urgently on how you are planning on proceed in order to bring this strike to an equitable and fair resolution.