UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Glasgow support assistants strike

A strike by UNISON pupil support assistants closed 10 Glasgow schools yesterday in a dispute about extra duties like healthcare and the administration of medicine being forced on them without agreement.
   Glasgow City Council is expecting PSAs to undertake specialist health care tasks and administration of medicines in addition to their core duties of supporting the delivery of education.

Glasgow City Council describe the monitoring and administration of care for pupils with asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and anaphylactic shock as ‘low level tasks’ but UNISON argues that these new roles and responsibilities should be assigned to a higher grade post than that held currently held by PSAs.

Some PSAs are being asked to deliver what the council describe as ‘higher level tasks’. These include: blood glucose monitoring, injections, gastronomy tube/peg feeding, tracheostomy care including suction, catheterisation and catheter care. UNISON believes that these are tasks which should be delivered by professional healthcare workers.

Carol Ball of Glasgow City UNISON said: “Our concern is with child welfare. PSAs took their job to deliver education, not healthcare. Despite council claims PSAs are not receiving proper training to carry out what are medical procedures.

“And the Council can’t have it both ways, if PSAs have been trained and have the skills and responsibility of delivering these complex needs then the case for keeping them on the lowest level of pay collapses.

“We want the best possible support provided to Glasgow’s children so we are urging the council to actually negotiate with us rather than schedule meeting where they say nothing while spreading misinformation to parents who are quite rightly concerned for their children’s wellbeing."