Our members are taking a stand to resist the threat of poverty pay and to fight for decent public services.
GMB Scotland members across Glasgow City Council (GCC) have voted for strike action over changes to working time arrangements that could cost workers up to £500 a year.
Following the conclusion of a three week ballot process at noon today (Thursday 19 May), 72 per cent of ballot papers returned supported strike action while 82 per cent supported action short of strikes.
The dispute was sparked by GCC’s decision to convert six public holidays into annual leave, removing the ability of staff to work hours on overtime rates of pay, crucial in helping thousands of workers avoid the low pay trap.
GMB Scotland will be notifying GCC of strike dates imminently and action will affect key services including cleansing, refuse, land and environment, bereavement services and social care.
Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland Officer, said: “Our members are taking a stand to resist the threat of poverty pay and to fight for decent public services under public ownership for the next generation.
It is the lowest paid across of the council who are bearing the brunt of the Scottish government’s austerity agenda, with £130 million worth of cuts to the city’s budget expected over the next two years.
Yet instead of resisting these cuts or pursuing meaningful alternatives, the council leadership is rolling over on its hardworking staff at the coalface of service delivery and that is completely unacceptable.
Time and again we have told the council that our members cannot sustain these cuts and that the holiday imposition would force a dispute. Perhaps now they will take their employees concerns seriously and finally recognise the severity of this situation.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Officer Benny Rankin on 07912 560808 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.
Notes to editors
1 GMB press release dated Monday, April 25, 2016
GMB Scotland To Ballot Glasgow Council Workers For Strike Action
Our members are taking a stand to resist the threat of in-work poverty says GMB Scotland.
GMB Scotland members across Glasgow City Council (GCC) will be balloted for industrial action later this week over changes to working time arrangements that could cost workers up to £500 a year. (See notes to editors for GMB press releases on the Glasgow City Council Ballot).
A strike ballot of over 1,500 members employed across key services like cleansing, refuse, land and environment and social care will run from Friday 29th April to Thursday 19th May.
The dispute has been prompted by GCC’s decision to convert six public holidays into annual leave, removing the ability of staff to work hours on overtime rates of pay which have been crucial in helping thousands of workers avoid the low pay trap.
Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland Officer said: “Our members are saying enough is enough to council cuts and we are campaigning to defend incomes, livelihoods and the vital public services the people of Glasgow rely on every day.
It is the low paid of the council who are bearing the brunt of John Swinney’s austerity agenda with £130 million worth of cuts to the city’s budget expected over the next two years.
Yet instead of resisting these cuts or pursuing meaningful alternatives, the council is rolling over on its hard-working staff at the coalface of service delivery and that is unacceptable.
Our members are taking a stand to resist the threat of in-work poverty and to fight for decent public services under public ownership for the next generation.”
2 GMB press release dated Monday, April 4, 2016
GMB Scotland Brings Forward Strike Ballot As Glasgow City Council Serves Employees 90 Days’ Notice Of Changes To Contracts And Pay
Politicians had intimated that they wanted to talk to us but instead they have fired the first salvo in what is going to be a bruising battle says GMB Scotland.
GMB Scotland have brought forward a planned industrial action ballot after Glasgow City Council served employees a 90 day notice period of changes to terms of employment.
GMB Scotland estimates that the cost of contract changes will amount to as much as £500 per year for workers, many of whom are already struggling after years of pay freezes and below inflation pay rises.
One of the changes will end council workers’ right to bank holidays, incorporating them into annual leave resulting in cut payments for those who work on bank holidays and problems with child care for thousands of council employees.
Alex McLuckie, GMB Scotland Senior organiser, said "Council workers have seen their living standards decimated by years of pay freezes and increases that haven't kept pace with the cost of living.
The issuing of the 90 days’ notice means the council has now declared war on low paid workers who are already struggling after years of cuts to jobs and services.
Politicians had intimated that they wanted to talk to us but instead they have fired the first salvo in what is going to be a bruising battle. GMB Scotland will now bring forward our industrial action ballot. Notice will be served this coming week."
3 GMB press release dated Friday, March 18, 2016
GMB Shop Stewards Vote Unanimously For Industrial Action Against Glasgow City Council
Our members are determined to see this fight through to the end says GMB Scotland
GMB shop stewards have voted unanimously for industrial action to protect the terms and conditions of GMB members working at Glasgow City Council. (View notes to editors for copies of previous GMB press releases about Glasgow City Council workers).
Following a consultative ballot, stewards held a meeting on Friday 18th March 2016, to decide on action against the removal of bank holidays from workers’ contracts and significant changes to flexi-time working.
GMB Scotland will ballot members working for the council over the next month with a view to taking industrial action in either May or June.
Regional Organiser Benny Rankin said “GMB Scotland’s members have consistently told the Council that we will oppose these changes. This was never an empty threat, and if the council ever thought it was, this will be yet another error in a long line of errors from this administration.
Our members are determined to see this fight through to the end.
It is now up to the employer, Glasgow City Council, to come to the table and have meaningful discussions with the trade unions rather than provide sounds bites without any substance.
We await the Council’s response”.
4 GMB press release dated Friday, March 11, 2016
Glasgow City Council Cancels May Day As Part Of £130m Cuts
GMB members have already signalled that they refuse to lose a penny off their pay and we will oppose these actions with all means available says GMB.
GMB has commented on Glasgow City Council’s decision to cancel May Day as part of an attempt to cut £500,000 from workers terms and conditions.
At a meeting today, Friday 11th March, trade unions met Councillor Martin Rhodes who confirmed a package of £130 million of cuts including the removal of public holidays and reduced holiday entitlement for new employees.
Benny Rankin GMB Organiser for Glasgow City Council said “It’s rather ironic that one of the last remaining Labour Councils in Scotland have proposed to do away with the May Day Holiday. For our members, however, it’s more serious as this change will have a big impact on their earning levels.
We estimate these changes will cost workers between £500 and £1000 per year. GMB members have already signalled that they refuse to lose a penny off their pay and GMB will oppose these actions with all means available including industrial action.
We think it is crazy that Glasgow City Council is prepared to bring the city to a stop over £500,000 out of a £130 million cuts package. If the council thinks it can use its workforce as a tool to implement UK and Scottish government austerity plans, they should think again and remove these proposals."