West Dunbartonshire social work staff in another huge vote for action

Social work staff in West Dunbartonshire have, for a second time this year, voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking strike action.  UNISON announced the result of its Industrial Action ballot today which revealed a massive 98.8% per cent voted in favour of taking strike action.

The branch says that a lack of suitable progress towards resolution to the dispute is putting vulnerable people in West Dunbartonshire at risk.

This correlates directly with a recent UNISON Scotland Nationwide Survey of Social Work Services, the findings of which where published in a report “Save from Harm”;

  • 76% of respondents stated their teams did not have enough staff
  • 90% of respondents are considering leaving their jobs in social work
  • In 2016, Audit Scotland estimated that social work services needed a 16-21% increase in funding to cope with growing demand. This funding has not been put in place.

The full report can be accessed here – Social-Work-damage-November-2019.pdf

Social work services have experienced prolonged austerity which has had a direct and detrimental effect on the community our members serve.  UNISON members within Children and Families care deeply about their work and are passionate about their role in the community.  They still seek acceptable family contact venues and suitable, fully equipped, working premises for staff to work from both as an interim measure and in terms of a long term solution.

UNISON West Dunbartonshire Branch say: “This is a stronger mandate from our members in comparison to the first industrial action ballot earlier this year where our members initially voted to take industrial action, which is evidence that members feel further dissatisfied with progress made.  Management must heed this crystal clear message from our members, who are at breaking point, beyond goodwill and at-risk children remain unsupported. UNISON calls on all parties to work together with a view to seeking an acceptable resolution timeously.”

UNISON welcome the latest development in the process thus far, with Hartfield Clinic being confirmed as the long term solution, this is a result the union has campaigned for however, we are mindful that agreements have previously been reached on other related matters, yet members still face issues.  In addition this news does coincide with the announcement of our Industrial Action Ballot.

UNISON West Dunbartonshire branch takes this opportunity to remind Management that they must negotiate with the local branch in order to seek a resolution to this dispute.  We remain open to further discussions, with this in mind we have requested to meet with the Chief Executive of West Dunbartonshire Council and her senior officers.

Until the dispute is resolved UNISON remain vigilant and hopeful.

UNISON commend our members for continuing to stand up for those they serve by voting to take this action in their quest to provide safe, dignified and a fit for purpose service to the people of West Dunbartonshire.”