A HEALTH body is looking to use reserve cash to fund six more social workers, in a bid to avert strike action.

Earlier this year, 60 social workers filed a collective grievance with West Dunbartonshire Council over a variety of issues including workload and a proposed merging of teams into one office in Clydebank.

Despite voting for strike action, the stoppage was scuppered after last minute talks with council bosses led to concessions.

Some of the details of the agreement were not known, however it was reported at the time the council agreed to avert a move to Aurora House in Clydebank by moving some staff to the bottom floor of the Bridge Street office in Dumbarton.

However, in a report which went before the partnership’s audit committee in June, the measures agreed to at the May 29 meeting were outlined.

Read more: Threat of social workers’ strike is suspended after crucial talks

In addition to refurbishment of Bridge Street, which the report says will house social workers “as soon as practicably possible”, the council also pledged to recruit 12.5 more full-time equivalent staff, as well as pursue avenues to secure more agency workers in the meantime.

According to the report, four members of staff had already been secured as of June 19 and a council source has confirmed a further 2.5 FTE workers have now been employed.

In the report, council officers say they will need to dip into reserves in order to fund six new positions due to the already fraught financial situation at the department, and seek approval from the board to move forward.

The measure will be decided at a meeting of the partnership on Wednesday, August 7.

The settlement also detailed work being done to address issues with time off in lieu agreements.

After negotiations, the partnership agreed to offer time back in lieu to those who had accrued it by working longer hours than agreed.