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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 May 2015

Glasgow homelessness caseworkers:

Political fund threat changes Labour council's tune

Homeless caseworkers and Socialist Party Scotland members on the North East picket line, photo by Glasgow Homeless Caseworkers

Homeless caseworkers and Socialist Party Scotland members on the North East picket line, photo by Glasgow Homeless Caseworkers   (Click to enlarge)

Matt Dobson

After nine weeks of all out strike action, Glasgow's Labour Council still refuses to resolve a dispute over pay with seventy homelessness caseworkers.

At a meeting on Wednesday 20 May between the union, two Labour councillors and two senior council officials, management initially refused to commit to an offer until the end of June.

In response, Ian Leech, Unison social work convenor and Socialist Party Scotland member, told the press: "At today's meeting Unison questioned who was running the council - unelected senior officers or the elected politicians?

"We believe that the conduct of this dispute from the council side exposes a dysfunctionality at the heart of the council, with one senior officer openly hostile to the trade union and its members.

"The Unison Glasgow branch will be writing to our national office asking that all political fund payments from Unison to the Glasgow Labour Party are halted due to the way in which our members are being treated."

The council then changed their approach under this political pressure, against the backdrop of the crisis in the Scottish Labour Party. Management left the room for a recess. Upon their return they stated they would have a written proposal within a week.

Strike breaking

The union claims the council is using non-council workers - support workers from charities and voluntary organisations - to provide written information on a person's needs to cover the work of the striking staff. This breaches strike breaking laws and may also breach data protection rules.

An undercover Glasgow Evening Times reporter has detailed how he was first turned away for a night from the homeless service and then advised to get legal help in suing the council to provide their legal obligation to give temporary accommodation.

The media coverage has also exposed how Glasgow council, while not willing to pay their homeless caseworkers fairly, are paying 90 a night for rooms in hotels and bed and breakfasts to put people in temporary accommodation.

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In The Socialist 27 May 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Stop Tory welfare butchery

'Council of war' needed for fight against cuts

Are falling prices good for us?

NHS trusts heading for bankruptcy

'Spiderman' and political lobbying

Plymouth: Labour and Tories form grand cuts coalition

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

A new chapter in Chile's political crisis

Greece: subordination to or rupture with austerity?


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight for our future!

Stop the privatisation of student loans!


Socialist Party workplace news

Organise to strike back

PCS conference: coordinated action can stop the Tories

Determined Dundee porters ratchet up pressure

Political fund threat changes Glasgow council's tune

National Rail strike threat results in new offer

Bromley council battle continues

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Toon and TUSC slam 'cash cow' boss

Thirty newcomers boost London post-election meeting

Peterborough occupiers protest at homelessness


Socialist history

VE Day: When 'liberation' meant socialism


Readers' comments

Tories have nothing in common with blue collar workers

Working class people's real aspirations


 

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