UNISON Scotland’s largest trade union has called a day of action (Thursday 11 February) to campaign against cuts in local services and jobs
UNISON members are holding demonstrations, campaigns and lobbying to call on the UK government and the Scottish Government to use its powers to end austerity.
Local government has taken the brunt of cuts in Scotland. Of the 50,000 job losses in devolved services 40,000 have been in local government and we now expect 15,000 more jobs to go over the next few years.
Mark Ferguson, chair of UNISON local government committee said,‘ There are another 15,000 job cuts in the pipeline for local government in Scotland. This means more drastic cuts to services for vulnerable people across Scotland.
We are calling on all Councils to give assurances that there will be no compulsory redundancies in Scottish councils. Any council that tries to manage this situation by sacking workers will find themselves facing strike action. We are looking for councillors to stand up for their staff.
Councils already have contingency plans drawn up to cut hours and close services across the country. This is despite the fact that the need for these services is greater han ever. The cuts in services will be real cuts. We have reports of services for people with learning disabilities being closed, day centres for older people closing, school support workers being cut leading to poorer education services. These cuts will have a really harmful impact on local communities and especially the most vulnerable.
It’s also the damage to local economies when so many jobs go. For some communities these job losses will be very difficult to bear. The loss of jobs also means a loss of opportunity for young people seeking a career in local government in the future. We are also concerned about the stresses on the staff left behind as they try to deliver more services with less resource to go round. The Scottish Government must use all the powers it has and increase funding for local government.’