Monday, 22 October 2018

Glasgow - Strike News and Anonymous Sources



I contacted the Council Leader's press spokesperson (Gerry Braiden) over the vile 'anonymous source' story which appeared in the Evening Times the other day.

Before joining Susan Aitken's office Gerry was a well-known journalist at The Herald and he's written lots of stories about Glasgow City Council in the past.

So I'll be interested to hear what Gerry has to say because there's no doubt in my mind that this 'anonymous source' has to come from either the Chief Executive's office or the Council Leader's office.

Either way, Glasgow's Home Care workforce is due an apology if you ask me.

   

Glasgow - Strike News and Anonymous Sources (21/10/18)


An 'anonymous source' inside Glasgow City Council is trying to undermine next week's strike by arguing that the unions have not agreed to help with 'life and limb' cover while industrial action is underway.

Well here's a notice (below) from the Unison Glasgow City branch which completely contradicts that claim and in the Evening Times the GMB organiser Hazel Nolan states:

“We have agreed to everything the council asked for. The council has misjudged the strength of feeling among the women. Every union member has the right to strike and there are enough non union staff to provide cover. Many of them will also have equal pay claims.


“We have offered to meet to avert the strike every day this week.” 

If you ask me, the Council should be ashamed of itself for using such despicable, underhand tactics and I have to say it's incredible that the Council is speaking through 'anonymous sources' instead of sitting down and talking with the unions directly.

Just who are these 'anonymous sources' - let's bring them out into the open so that they an be held accountable for what they do and say.

     

Glasgow - Strike News (18/10/10)



Here's an email from the Unison Glasgow City Branch explaining 'life and limb' cover arrangements for Home Care clients during next week's strike on 23rd and 24th October.  

To UNISON members,

Home Care Life and Limb Cover - Strike Days

As you are aware UNISON and the GMB have agreed that a home care staffing resource can be deployed on the two strike days to provide essential life and limb cover. We have agreed that 300 workers, 10% of the total home care workforce, can be deployed to provide support to the most vulnerable service users. Last week the Council’s Chief Social Work Officer agreed that workers not in either trade union would be approached to provide this staffing.

This strike is for UNISON and GMB members, and both trade unions ask that our members do not discourage non-union members from volunteering to be part of the 300 staffing resource. This will allow UNISON and GMB members to strike in the knowledge that life and limb cover is in place.


Brian Smith
Branch Secretary


     

Life and limb cover for home care withdrawn during equal pay strike

By Stewart Paterson @PatersonHT - Evening Times
Senior man sitting on the wheelchair alone; Shutterstock ID 1012812838.

OLDER people who need the most intensive home care support are being told there will be no cover during the equal pay strike next week.

Thousands of Unison and GMB staff will strike on Tuesday and Wednesday affecting home care services and schools.

The council previously told the most vulnerable clients they would have a reduced service on the strike days but are now informing them there will be no service at all.

The council said that unions have failed to deliver enough staff to provide ‘life and limb” cover despite indicating they would.

It is understood the council asked for 360 staff to cover those most in need and the unions offered 300.

However, on Friday the council said they only had 91 staff willing to work and that included non- union staff who would be working anyway.

As a result they have withdrawn all services and warned people they will need to make their own care arrangements on those days.

It means people left with no help to wash or dress and no -one to help feed those who need help.

It is feared it could leave some people needing hospitalised should they fall and even put others lives at risk.

Chief Executive Annemarie O’Donnell said when the strike was announced that it would present a risk to life.

The Cordia alarm system is expected to be almost non-existent on the strike days with managers attempting to cover shifts.

It means that while some alarm calls mey be answered there will be no staff to respond and visit the person at home and calls to the ambulance service will be the likely alternative.

Previously union leaders said they expected the council to request life and limb cover and they would then respond.

A council source said: “The unions have completely lost control of the situation. They’ve won – they won ten months ago but they’re now locked into a hugely dangerous strike that they now just can’t stop.

“We’ve agreed everything they are asking for, but they can’t call off the strike – or even deliver the life and limb cover they promised.”

One of the unions however, said there are enough non union members who could cover on strike days.

Hazel Nolan GMB Scotland Organiser said: “We have agreed to everything he council asked for. The council has misjudged the strength of feeling among the women. Every union member has the right to strike and there are enough non union staff to provide cover. many of them will also have equal pay claims.

“We have offered to met to avert the strike every day this week.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “We believed we had an agreement on providing life and limb cover for our most vulnerable citizens – indeed, the unions told the public that cover would be in place.

“It won’t. There has been absolutely no meaningful effort from the unions to work with us and their membership to ensure that life and limb cover will be in place.

“As a result, we are writing urgently to many of the most vulnerable people in the city to tell them that we now have no way to provide them care they desperately need during the strike.

“Rather than the reduced service we expected to be able to deliver with support from the trade unions; for many more people, there will now be no service at all. We are deeply concerned about the impact, but we have absolutely no alternative.”

https://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/16997648.family-of-glasgow-pensioner-fears-as-care-services-withdrawn-during-strike/

Family of Glasgow pensioner fears as care services withdrawn during strike




By Evening Times Online

Glasgow City Council has sent letters to those affected.

The family of a vulnerable 90-year-old woman fears lives will be put at risk due to care services being withdrawn during a planned strike.
Glasgow City Council has sent letters to those affected informing them their care will be withdrawn for two days next week as around 8,000 workers walk out in an equal pay row.

The letter states: "The strike action is definitely taking place and unfortunately we have been unable to secure sufficient homecare staff to provide the cover we expected to."

It asks recipients to make alternative arrangements with family, carers or friends if possible, apologises for the disruption and warns there will be no response to calls or emails regarding homecare arrangements during the strike on Tuesday and Wednesday.


Read more: Life and limb cover for home care withdrawn during equal pay strike

The family of one woman who received the letter said they fear lives will be put at risk as people may not be able to access medication.

Amy Coid, 90, is recently out of hospital and normally receives four care visits a day as she is blind in one eye and suffers from slight confusion, so is given meals and help to dress and get to bed.

She is not allowed to deal with her own medication which is kept in her house in a padlocked box to which only her carers have the combination.

Her family is now trying to get the code for this so they can give her the 14 tablets a day she needs but are worried for others who will be left without care.

A relative said: "It looks like lives of many old people will be put at risk as they will not receive their medication.

"We are fortunate and will be able to make two 30 mile round trips each day to give her meds in morning and night.

"But how will confused elderly people with no relatives, neighbours or friends cope? Some will be on meds without which they might become seriously ill or worse.

Read more: Life and limb cover for home care withdrawn during equal pay strike

"Some might not even understand the letter or not be able to do anything about it."

He added: "I wonder how many lives may be at risk as a result and the council seems to be washing their hands of the potential deadly consequences for these vulnerable people who live alone."

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said the way the union leaders had approached the strike was "hugely disappointing".

He said: "We believed we had an agreement on providing life and limb cover for our most vulnerable citizens - indeed, the unions told the public that cover would be in place. It won't.

"There has been absolutely no meaningful effort from the unions to work with us and their membership to ensure that life and limb cover will be in place.

"As a result, we are writing urgently to many of the most vulnerable people in the city to tell them that we now have no way to provide them care they desperately need during the strike.

"Rather than the reduced service we expected to be able to deliver with support from the trade unions, for many more people, there will now be no service at all. We are deeply concerned about the impact but we have absolutely no alternative."

Around 6,000 people have homecare services affected.

The unions have agreed to all council requests to support the life and limb plan, the GMB union said, adding the offer from union members to work through the strike to support vulnerable homecare users still stands.

Read more: Life and limb cover for home care withdrawn during equal pay strike

Rhea Wolfson, GMB Scotland organiser, said its members would never do anything to cause harm to homecare clients.

"Glasgow City Council management is in meltdown," she said.

"It has misrepresented the offer our members have made to keep services running for our most vulnerable clients."

She added: "The council's officers have been incapable of putting in place the most basic cover despite having three weeks to prepare and the offers we have made every single day to resolve the dispute."