‘We educate, not medicate’ – school support staff strike again over imposed healthcare tasks

Date: Wednesday 13 November 2013

NB Picture and interview opportunities available on morning of Thursday 14 Nov 2013.

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

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

UNISON members will lobby Glasgow City Council, calling for t an end to the imposition of these duties and to settle the dispute.

Carol Ball, Education Convener for Glasgow City UNISON, said:

“Strike action is the last resort but feelings are running high. Pupil Support assistants are angry at reports that they are only after more money and falsehoods that they are already paid for this task.

The lies need to stop and an agreement reached that puts the educational needs of the children first.”

“Our members want to do the best for our pupils, however we are being asked to administer medicine with little or no training. Pupil Support Assistants chose their job to be educators not health care workers– you wouldn’t risk asking a painter to be an electrician for a day.”

“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 expects the lowest graded workers to undertake medical/healthcare tasks, with no formal training and no increase in pay. We strongly disagree with this and call on the council to treat our members with the respect they deserve.”


Notes for editors

1. UNISON members will be lobbying from 10am tomorrow, Thursday, November 14, 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 our earlier news release: https://unison-scotland.org.uk/news/2013/sepoct/1030a.htm

For further information contact
Carol Ball, Glasgow City UNISON education convener 0141 552 7069/ 07803 952 263
Mandy McDowall, UNISON’s Regional Organiser, on 07903 846 427
Laura Houston, UNISON Steward, Hazlewood School 07952 284471

Media Opportunity/Photo/Interviews

Lobby at 10am, Glasgow City Council, as above

Picket lines
– Hazlewood School, 50 Dumbreck Court G41 5DQ Bellahouston UNISON Steward, Laura Houston 07952 284471
– Hampden School 18 Logan Cres G5 0HP
– Langlands School Glenside Ave G33 5SD
– Hillington School 227 Hartlaw Cres G52 2JL