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Green party councillors back striking Brighton social care workers



Green councillors have come out in solidarity with adult social workers who are striking at Brighton and Hove City Council.

The strike is the first of its kind and calls for better pay for adult social workers to match the rates for children’s social workers.

Cllr Pete West, the opposition spokesman for adult social care and public health, said: “Greens stand in support of council adult social workers taking this unprecedented strike action for better pay. We know those who care for vulnerable people in our city do not take strike action lightly, so this announcement only speaks to how dire the situation has become.

“Adult social workers are shouldering excessive workloads, all while being paid less than their equivalently qualified colleagues in children’s social care or even in neighbouring counties.

“To truly demonstrate we value care work, it needs to pay better.

“We urge the Labour council to seek a meaningful resolution on pay, and to resolve inequalities among departments, for the sake of dedicated staff and vulnerable adults in our city.”

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Adult social workers have called for pay parity with other social workers who work with children and families. They will be striking on November 7.

Trade union Unison is calling on the government to fund proper pay rises and for the council to address the pay inequalities.

One adult social worker, who did not wish to be named, said: “We have had real terms pay cuts continuously for many years, working full time now gives the same real terms pay as working a four-day week a few years ago.”

Cllr Tristram Burden, chairman of the council’s Adult Social Care and Public Health Sub-Committee, said: “Our social workers carry out challenging work day in, day out , and we value each and every one of them.

“We know the cost-of-living crisis is biting, and we help wherever we can.

“But as we have made clear in our negotiations, this unfortunately cannot include awarding social workers in our adult social care service a 12.5% market supplement.

“I will always support the right to strike, but I’m also saddened employees feel the need to take this action.

“We are keeping negotiations open with our Unison colleagues to try to find a solution to the current dispute.”

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