Green councillors have stated their support and solidarity for adult social care workers at Brighton & Hove City Council, who are taking strike action for fairer pay in the first walkout of its kind.
“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.
“Social work is still a chronically underfunded and undervalued profession, with calls for reform met with inaction from national government and councils starved of the funding they need to support the service.
“Demand for social work in our city is through the roof. Yet 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. Brighton & Hove has some of the UK’s highest housing costs and the council cannot hope to recruit and retain experienced, committed staff if they can’t afford to live here.
“To truly demonstrate we value care work, it needs to pay better. There is strain to be felt on council budgets. But this alone is not a reason to avoid finding solutions, when the cost of allowing the service to collapse will be far greater. It is disappointing to hear Brighton & Hove Unison report that ‘all other attempts to resolve this dispute had failed.’ 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.”
 Brighton and Hove Unison statement:
“For the first time in the city’s history, Adults Social Workers are to take industrial action over pay following 100% of those returning ballots voting to strike. Brighton & Hove UNISON, a union who represents adult social workers in the city, says the strike is a last resort after all other attempts to resolve this dispute had failed. There are significant issues with recruitment and retention of staff in adult social care and the market supplement is an essential tool to improve the service for residents of Brighton and Hove. In one team a social work role had to be advertised three times, and on one occasion of the 100 applicants, not one was a qualified social worker.”
 The first walkout will take place on 7th November, to coincide with a meeting of the council’s Health and Wellbeing Board