Thu 11 May, 2023
Today Green Councillor Dan Hutchison is proposing a motion to Glasgow City Council which would bring a report setting out how the council can enter a formal recognition agreement with the Independent Workers of Great Britain who represent the largest body of Foster and Kinship Carers at the council - for the purposes for collective bargaining.
The motion also renews calls by Glasgow City Council for the Integrated Joint Board to increase allowances for those caring for Glasgow’s children which have been frozen for over a decade. These demands come off the back of the clear demands made by Foster and Kinship Carers at a summit held in the City Chambers on the 1st February.
Cllr Dan Hutchison said, “Foster and Kinship Carers who do the incredible work of taking Glasgow’s children into their family cannot be ignored any longer. Green councillors have fought for their allowances to be increased but this was denied by the Integrated Joint Board. Those providing this essential care 24/7 need to be able to collectively bargain with the Integrated Joint Board if they won’t listen to the democratically elected councillors.”
The full text of Cllr. Hutchison’s motion reads:
Council notes that Foster and Kinship Carers provide an essential service to Glasgow’s children and allow us all to meet our obligations as corporate parents and that this is of the highest priority following the care review.
Council further notes that these carers have seen their incomes fall in real terms over the past decade and that this is not in the best interests of children in their care. Whilst some carers saw an increase in their allowances as a result of the 2021/22 budget, those with children over the age of 10 have remained frozen for more than a decade. Council also acknowledges that at the Foster and Kinship Carer summit held on the 1st of February it was clear that the current cost of living crisis is severely impacting the carers and the families that they care for. Council therefore renews its call for the Integration Joint Board to restore inflation-linked increases to allowances for all foster and kinship carers, and to continue to lobby the Scottish Government for funding to deliver this.
Council believes that the situation in respect of foster and kinship carer allowances has arisen, in part, due to a lack of formal partnership working between carers, collectively, and Social Work officers. Council agrees that the most effective method of partnership working with these carers, in particular relating to their rights to collective bargaining, would be through formal recognition of their chosen trade union(s). Council further agrees that enabling collective bargaining is the best way forward for the carers but also the children in their care, and agrees that the children's wellbeing must continue to be of central importance in these discussions.
Council therefore instructs the Director of Human Resources to submit a report to the City Administration Committee setting out the legal, financial, strategic and operational implications of entering into a formal recognition process in order that Committee can consider whether to begin that process with the Independent Workers of Great Britain Trade Union who represent the largest body of Foster and Kinship Carers at Glasgow City Council for the purposes of collective bargaining. Such a report should be submitted to the City Administration Committee by September 2023.”