Home care staff in Renfrewshire have continued strike action after claiming the latest pay offer "undervalues" their work.

Carers and senior support workers at Renfrewshire Council kicked off the first day of action on Tuesday, and are set to continue the strike today and tomorrow. 

It comes after care workers first gathered in George Square at the beginning of April to call for equal pay amid accusations bosses have been underpaying them for years.

The council has now agreed the salaries of care staff should be two grades higher and backdate the pay rise four years.


Glasgow Times: Fiona O'Brien striking at George Square at the start of April Fiona O'Brien striking at George Square at the start of April (Image: Robert Perry)

However, workers maintain that their work is still undervalued whilst adding that the details of the backdated payments would mean they were being "shortchanged."

Kirsten Muat, GMB Scotland organiser in Renfrewshire Council, said that if the staff had been graded properly years ago, they would be higher up the pay scale by now.

She said: “Care workers are disappointed at having to continue strike action but determined to secure wages that fairly reflect their work along with the money already owed to them.

“The detail of how and when back pay will be calculated could make thousands of pounds of difference to our members."


Glasgow Times:

Kirsten added that workers are out fighting for money that they should have received long before now and it should not be delayed any further.

She went on to say: “This is not compensation, it is money that is owed to them, money that should have been in our members’ bank accounts years ago and should be paid without further delay.

“The council must understand that having come so far, our members are in no mood to be underpaid again and will continue to fight for every penny that is owed to them.

“They are not looking for a penny more than they are owed but will not settle for a penny less.”

Glasgow Times:

In Renfrewshire, the union said the first review of care workers’ roles in 16 years did not recognise the skills and specialist experience of staff and failed to properly assess their new responsibilities of delivering complex care and support.

In recent years, they have been asked to support people with complex needs, administering medication, completing increased administration and recording and liaising with other services like NHS Scotland and social work.

GMB Scotland warns ongoing negotiations will lead to claims totalling tens of millions of pounds across Scotland and risk sinking local authorities without the intervention of the Scottish Government.

A Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership spokesperson said: “We carried out a job evaluation in line with our national scheme which involved input from job holders and trade unions. 

"In addition, and as requested by the unions we also sought an independent review of our evaluation which confirmed our job evaluation assessment and outcome.

"This has been shared with our Unions and we continue to work with them in order to resolve this dispute.”