HOME care workers have overwhelming voted to take industrial action through a formal ballot after accusing bosses of driving through new job roles and pay grades.

Frontline staff working for Renfrewshire Council have given 100 per cent backing for strikes after managers suggested they deserve only 67 pence more an hour - despite increased responsibilities.

GMB Scotland have today revealed the unanimous results of a postal ballot to its members - which had a 78% turnout - and have said industrial action is now ‘inevitable’ unless the council acts quickly on carers’ concerns.

The union claims the first review of care workers’ roles in 16 years has failed to recognise the crucial role, skills and specialist experience of its members - and has left workers feeling under- valued and under-paid.

Home carers and care home staff are said to be ‘frustrated and furious’ after the first review of their jobs, grades and salaries since 2007, according to GMB Scotland.

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Staff have told union bosses that their roles have changed beyond recognition in the past 17 years, with workers shouldering far more responsibilities, including supporting people with complex needs and administering medication. They also claim they are dealing with increased administration workloads and more liaison with other services like NHS Scotland and social work.

The majority are paid as little as £12.29 an hour but Renfrewshire Council decided they should only be moved up one grade, meaning their rate jumps to just £12.96.

One told the Glasgow Times: "What we have been offered is an insult. People have had enough and if we need to vote with our feet to be heard, so be it.

"Nobody wanted it to reach this stage, but we feel like we've no options left."

Kirsten Muat, GMB Scotland organiser, says the results of the official ballot have only reaffirmed her belief that care staff have finally had enough.

The union raised its initial concern in December and Ms Muat claims that the council has failed to use the time since to seriously engage with a now angry and frustrated workforce.

She said: “Our members work in care providing crucial frontline support to some of the most vulnerable people in their communities. They do not want to be in this position and do not want to be voting to strike.

“They only want their work to be fairly evaluated and properly rewarded and have been asked to wait far too long for that to happen.

“Renfrewshire Council must understand the frustration of our members at being undervalued and underpaid for so long.

“This is difficult, physically demanding work demanding skills, knowledge, experience and an absolute commitment to those people needing care and support.

“Unless the council evaluate and pay our members fairly and agree appropriate backpay, our members working in Renfrewshire Home Care will be taking industrial action.”

A spokesperson for Renfrewshire Council told the Glasgow Times that they hope to continue to work with unions and workers to prevent any industrial action taking place.

They added: "At the request of Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) we carried out a job evaluation to consider a more developed Home Care Worker role.

“This followed the national job evaluation process and we continue to engage with trade unions in respect of this.