Wednesday, September 07, 2011

UNISON Quarriers Strike to Protect Staff

UNISON members in the social care provider "Quarriers" which is one of the biggest Charities in Scotland, went on strike yesterday over management plans to slash pay and conditions for staff.

"The package of cuts means more than 560 staff would have their pay cut by 10% while others would lose up to 23% under the plans.

There are also proposals to cut sick pay, increase pension contributions and see other protections removed.  Stephen Brown, branch secretary of Unison Quarriers, said: "Taking strike action isn't a decision we've taken lightly and we want to be back at work doing what we do best - providing vital services to some of the most vulnerable people in society. The cost of utilities, food and transport are all going up and yet Quarriers expect our staff to take a pay cut of up to 23% in some cases".

Quarriers management had even refused to go to ACAS to try and resolve the dispute.  After the overwhelming strike ballot in favour of strike action they agreed to go to ACAS at the last minute but refused to suspend their plans until after this meeting. Which seems pretty pointless and an act of bad faith.

Stephen Brown is also the chair of the UNISON Community Service Group (I am a NEC member for Community). He is one of the most sensible and thoughtful trade union leaders about and I hope that Quarriers management will get their act together and talk to UNISON and get this matter sorted out.
(picture from strike rally in Glasgow)
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