Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Glasgow City Council intransigence forces 1000 pupil support assistants out on strike

Wed 30 Oct 2013

The strike is a last resort action by the city’s pupil support assistants (PSAs) following the forcing of new responsibilities for child healthcare tasks on them without agreement. 

Glasgow City Council are expecting PSAs to undertake specialist health care tasks and administration of medicines in addition to their core duties of supporting the delivery of education.

This represents a significant extension of the PSA’s role and responsibility - one that they do not wish to undertake. This however is not recognised by Glasgow City Council who describe the monitoring and administration of care for pupils with asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and anaphylactic shock as ‘low level tasks’.

UNISON argues that these new roles and responsibilities should be assigned to a higher grade post than that held currently held by PSAs.

There has been no offer of increased pay for all PSAs, instructors or care staff for the administration of medicines.

PSAs are currently paid an annual salary of £11,800.

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."


Information for editors:PSAs will be picketing to spread awareness of the dispute outside many city primary schools from 08:00 on Thursday 31 October 2013.

There will be pickets from 08:00 at a number of the Additional Support for Learning schools including:
Broomlea Primary School, 65 Stonyhurst Street, G22 5AX
Hazelwood Primary, 50 Dumbreck Court Glasgow, Glasgow City G41 5DQ

There will be a mass lobby of Glasgow City Council by PSAs at 12:00 George Square

1 comment:

  1. My son attends Broomlea Primary School, I am not satisfied that his pupil support assistants are not trained to administer medication. Care assistants in nursing homes are not trained in the giving of medication and are not allowed to administer medication. why should schools be different? By ensuring that PSA give out medication, there will be less requirement for those who are trained and paid more to do so. This is the latest in budget cuts within the department of education. Broomlea cannot suffer more cuts. the wide range of staff at broomlea has enabled my son to walk and run, to climb stairs, to talk communicate in 3 methods - speech, picture cards and Makaton. The staff at broomlea are all excellent and deserve the support of Glasgow City for the work that they do. they enable children with disabilities. Further cuts, increased duties without proper training and wage rise will stain the potential of our children.