Date: Wednesday 30 October 2013
The strike is a last resort action by the city’s pupil support assistants (PSAs) following the forcing of new responsibilities for child healthcare tasks on them without agreement.
Glasgow City Council are expecting PSAs to undertake specialist health care tasks and administration of medicines in addition to their core duties of supporting the delivery of education.
This represents a significant extension of the PSA’s role and responsibility – one that they do not wish to undertake. This however is not recognised by Glasgow City Council who describe the monitoring and administration of care for pupils with asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and anaphylactic shock as ‘low level tasks’.
UNISON argues that these new roles and responsibilities should be assigned to a higher grade post than that held currently held by PSAs.
There has been no offer of increased pay for all PSAs, instructors or care staff for the administration of medicines.
PSAs are currently paid an annual salary of £11,800.
Some PSAs are being asked to deliver what the council describe as ‘higher level tasks’
These include: blood glucose monitoring, injections, gastronomy tube/peg feeding, tracheostomy care including suction, catheterisation and catheter care. UNISON believes that these are tasks which should be delivered by professional healthcare workers.
Carol Ball of Glasgow City UNISON said:
“Our concern is with child welfare. PSAs took their job to deliver education, not healthcare. Despite council claims PSAs are not receiving proper training to carry out what are medical procedures.
“And the Council can’t have it both ways, if PSAs have been trained and have the skills and responsibility of delivering these complex needs then the case for keeping them on the lowest level of pay collapses.
“We want the best possible support provided to Glasgow’s children so we are urging the council to actually negotiate with us rather than schedule meeting where they say nothing while spreading misinformation to parents who are quite rightly concerned for their children’s wellbeing.”
Information for editors
PSAs will be picketing to spread awareness of the dispute outside many city primary schools from 08:00 on Thursday 31 October 2013.
There will be pickets from 08:00 at a number of the Additional Support for Learning schools including:
Broomlea Primary School, 65 Stonyhurst Street, G22 5AX
Hazelwood Primary, 50 Dumbreck Court Glasgow, Glasgow City G41 5DQ
There will be a mass lobby of Glasgow City Council by PSAs at 12:00 George Square
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
Dave Watson UNISON Scotland Head of Bargaining and Campaigns 07958122409.