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Stark warn­ing as car­ers’ strike just days away

Evening Times - - FRONT PAGE - EX­CLU­SIVE BY STEW­ART PATER­SON

FAM­I­LIES are be­ing told to make their own care ar­range­ments dur­ing the equal pay strike.

The coun­cil said it can’t pro­vide life and limb cover and has told clients there will be no home care ser­vice pro­vided on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day.

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 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.

It means peo­ple left with no help to wash or dress and no -one to help feed those who need as­sis­tance.

It is feared it could leave some peo­ple need­ing to be 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 10 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 have com­pletely lost con­trol of the sit­u­a­tion

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.

“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.”

Lives of el­derly ‘are at risk’No help to wash, dress or pre­pare mealsEmer­gency alarm ‘non-ex­is­tent’No staff will be on duty

Peo­ple who need care at home could be left with­out cover if the strike goes ahead

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