Child welfare must be the priority – school support staff strike over imposed healthcare tasks

Date: Tuesday 5 November 2013

More than 400 school support staff will take to the streets tomorrow (Wednesday) to lobby Glasgow City Council over forced changes to their roles.

The move – which is being taken by pupil support assistants, instructors and care workers in the north east of the city – is the latest in a round of strike action taken by UNISON members in response to the council’s decision to force pupil support assistants to undertake specialist healthcare tasks, including the administration of medicine, in addition to their core duties.

Members will lobby Glasgow City Council, calling for them to put an end to the imposition of these duties and to get back around the table to negotiate a way forward.

Carol Ball, education convener for Glasgow City UNISON, said: “This strike action is not taken lightly by our members and is very much seen as a last resort.

“The simple fact is that child welfare must be the priority. We want to do the best for our pupils, however we are being asked to administer medicine with little or no training.

“Parents, teachers and head teachers know that schools would crumble without the hard work and dedication of school support staff and to force them into this difficult position is both unfair and unnecessary.

“Glasgow City Council refers to asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and anaphylactic shock as ‘low level’ tasks and expect the lowest graded workers to undertake them, with no formal training and no increase in pay. We strongly disagree with this and call on the council to get back around the table and to treat our members with the respect they deserve.”


Notes for editors

1. UNISON members will be lobbying from 11am tomorrow, Wednesday, November 5, at Education Services, City Chambers East Building, 40 John Street, Glasgow.

2. PSAs are currently paid an annual salary of £11,800 and Glasgow City Council has not offered any pay increase, or formal training, for the additional duties.

3. Further information on action being taken by school support staff in Glasgow please see new release from last week:

For further information contact
Carol Ball, Glasgow City UNISON education convener 0141 552 7069/ 07803 952 263
Sylvia Haughney, Senior Steward additional support for learning. 07905 902908
Mandy McDowall, UNISON’s Regional Organiser, on 07903 846 427.