MENTAL health social workers are set to commit to two weeks of strike action in their fight for fair job evaluation. 

This industrial action will last from April 24 to May 8, marking the third instance of action by Cumberland's urgent care team. 

It follows on the back of March, when carers walked out on two occasions, one of which included a 72-hour strike. 

The urgent care team says it is on the 'front line' of mental health care, on call across Cumbria 24 hours a day and making on-the-spot decisions on whether immediate detention is necessary.

According to the GMB Union, more than 2,500 members of the public have signed a petition backing the Urgent Care Team’s campaign.

The dispute concerning the regrading of carers' roles dates back to July 2022, when they submitted a request for reevaluation, believing their roles had been incorrectly calculated.

Fran Robson, GMB Organiser, said: “For too long, Cumberland council has ignored their tireless efforts and denied them the recognition they deserve.

"Our members are left with no choice but to escalate their dispute.

"It's high time that Cumberland council recognises our members' worth and allows fair regrading of their role.”

According to Cumberland Council, a member of the Urgent Care team is paid between £48,474 and £49,498, with the vast majority receiving the latter. 

“The industrial action relates to a request to regrade the role of AMHPs in the Urgent Care Team," a Cumberland Council spokesperson said. 

"AMHPs within the Urgent Care Team had their post regraded in 2019 (under the former County Council), following an internal review process; Trade Unions were involved in the process. 

"In 2022 they requested another regrade, the outcome was that their post was not regraded as there had been no significant changes to the requirements of their roles." 

Cumberland Council has stated that emergency cover will be in place during industrial action. 

"The council has a three-stage agreed process with the Trade Unions for trying to resolve disputes.

"The first two stages are internal and the council has responded to GMB on behalf of their members at the conclusion of each of these two stages.

"The third stage involves the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service supporting the council and GMB to resolve the matter.

"GMB notified the council that their members would strike before this option had been implemented.

"We are also working with NHS partners to ensure continuity of care and support to anyone in a mental health crisis.

"Anyone experiencing a crisis should contact their GP, call 111 for out-of-hours General Practice, or call the NHS Crisis Team on 0300 123 9015 or freephone 0800 652 2865," they said.