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GMB Scotland Rat Protest

Thursday, October 29, 2015

GMB Scotland Giant Inflatable Rat At Glasgow Protest On 29th October To Illustrate Impact Of The Cuts On City Rat Population

The exploding rat population in Glasgow  will only increase to levels not seen in the city since the 60's and 70's if the cuts to the cleansing service go ahead says GMB Scotland.

GMB Scotland will have an 8 ft inflatable Rat at the demo today in George Square, Glasgow from 12 noon today to illustrate the impact of the cuts in the City.  See notes to editors for copy of GMB Scotland  press release dated 8th October on the protest.

Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland  regional officer said "The purpose is to  highlight the exploding rat population in Glasgow that will only increase to levels not seen in the city since the 60's and 70's if the cuts to the cleansing service go ahead."

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Contact: Benny Rankin,Regional Organiser 07912560808 or 0141332 8641.  GMB Press Office 07921 289 880

Notes to editors

Copy of GMB press release dated 8th October

GMB SCOTLAND LOBBY GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL ON 29TH OCTOBER OVER £103 MILLION CUTS WITH UP TO 3,000 JOB LOSSES OVER NEXT TWO YEARS

Glasgow City Council workers and services they run are literally on their knees now and further cuts on these services will make jobs detrimental to health and not worth having says GMB Scotland

Members of GMB Scotland, with members of Unite, Unison, Ucatt and EIS, are planning a lobby of Glasgow City Councillors at the next full sitting of the council at on Thursday 29th October to protest at the £103 million cuts to the budget over the next two years. There is a cut of £56 million in year 2015/2016 and a further £46 million in year 2016/2017.

GMB Scotland is calling on the Scottish Government to change its policy on restricting funding for local government services and that further funds should be provided for Glasgow City Council and that City Councillors stand up for the people of Glasgow and its employees.

The details of the protest are as follows:

From 12 noon Thursday 29th October

Glasgow City Council

City Chambers,

George Square,

Glasgow G2 1DU

There will be members present with flags and banners.

Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland Regional Officer, said “Glasgow City Council has made spending cuts of £250m since 2010 including huge cuts in learning disability and mental health services, home care support, supported education for children, community work, cleansing, library services, frontline office support and grants to voluntary organisations. At least 4,000 council jobs have been lost.

The council has stated it intends to make further cuts of £103m in 2016 and 2017. This may give rise to up to 3,000 job cuts which is over 10% of the current workforce. This will be a disaster for vital services in the city and hit future employment opportunities for our young people.

GMB Scotland call on all elected politicians in the city to use all available financial mechanisms to hold-off any further cuts whilst leading a fight to win more money for the city. The council could use some of its reserves and borrowing powers, supported by the legal financial process of “capitalisation”, to fill the two year £103m hole expected in April 2016.

This would allow time and space to build a mass campaign of elected councillors, trade unions, user groups and local communities with the objective of winning more money from the Holyrood and Westminster governments. There is plenty of money in our economy – it is just in the wrong hands or lying in the bank accounts of big business. The trade unions will support any council politician or council political grouping who adopts this strategy of “No More Cuts”.

GMB Scotland is aware of previous statements by the Glasgow City Council Leadership that the city is treated unfairly under the current national local government funding arrangements. Based on previous figures, this could be as much as £30m over the next two years.

GMB Scotland call for directly funded and run council services. Glasgow City Council should bring council owned Arm’s Length External Organisations (ALEO) back under direct control. This ALEO model has not improved services and has reduced accountability to the citizens of Glasgow. Public services should be directly funded and run by the council, and be democratically accountable to elected politicians. This is the best way to ensure the quality of services and manage the workforce.

Morale within Glasgow City Council employees has hit rock bottom particularly within the cleansing service. Sickness levels due to stress is the highest recorded with more and more cases of musculoskeletal pain arising due to long working days and the demands on employees by management to continue to provide the same service levels as that which would be expected from a full contingent of workforce.

The levels and instances of work related stress is not merely confined to front line staff. The demands placed upon depot supervisors have given rise to a sharp increase of absenteeism throughout the cleansing department and council services in its entirety.

Glasgow City Council workers and the services they run are literally on their knees now. Further cuts on these services will make it for the workers jobs not worth having as they are extremely detrimental to their health and well-being. For the people of Glasgow the services will not be fit for purpose and which will eventually be broken beyond rep

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