OLDER people who need the most intensive home care support are being told there will be no cover during the equal pay strike next week.

Thousands of Unison and GMB staff will strike on Tuesday and Wednesday affecting home care services and schools.

The council previously told the most vulnerable clients they would have a reduced service on the strike days but are now informing many of them there will be no service at all.

The council said that unions have failed to deliver enough staff to provide ‘life and limb” cover despite indicating they would.

It is understood the council asked for 360 staff to cover those most in need and the unions offered 300.

However, on Friday the council said they only had 91 staff willing to work and that included non- union staff who would be working anyway.

As a result they have withdrawn all services and warned people they will need to make their own care arrangements on those days.

A spokesman for the council said a small number of those in the 'greatest need' will still receive support. 

It means people left with no help to wash or dress and nobody to help feed those who need help.

It is feared it could leave some people needing hospitalised should they fall and even put others lives at risk.

Chief Executive Annemarie O’Donnell said when the strike was announced that it would present a risk to life.

The Cordia alarm system is expected to be almost non-existent on the strike days with managers attempting to cover shifts.

It means that while some alarm calls mey be answered there will be no staff to respond and visit the person at home and calls to the ambulance service will be the likely alternative.

Previously union leaders said they expected the council to request life and limb cover and they would then respond.

A council source said: “The unions have completely lost control of the situation. They’ve won – they won ten months ago but they’re now locked into a hugely dangerous strike that they now just can’t stop.

“We’ve agreed everything they are asking for, but they can’t call off the strike – or even deliver the life and limb cover they promised.”

One of the unions however, said there are enough non-union members who could cover on strike days.

Hazel Nolan GMB Scotland Organiser said: “We have agreed to everything he council asked for. The council has misjudged the strength of feeling among the women. Every union member has the right to strike and there are enough non union staff to provide cover. many of them will also have equal pay claims.

“We have offered to meet to avert the strike every day this week.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “We believed we had an agreement on providing life and limb cover for our most vulnerable citizens – indeed, the unions told the public that cover would be in place.

“It won’t. There has been absolutely no meaningful effort from the unions to work with us and their membership to ensure that life and limb cover will be in place.

“As a result, we are writing urgently to many of the most vulnerable people in the city to tell them that we now have no way to provide them care they desperately need during the strike.

“Rather than the reduced service we expected to be able to deliver with support from the trade unions; for many more people, there will now be no service at all. We are deeply concerned about the impact, but we have absolutely no alternative.”