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Protest Over Spending On Glasgow Manager

Thursday, October 15, 2015

GMB Scotland Protest To Glasgow City Council On Spending Over £100,000 Filling Unneeded Senior Manager Vacancy As Council Face £103 Million Cuts

Glasgow City Council has 35 time served apprentices who cannot get a full time job through the Council and have now been put on a rolling 4 week temporary contract says GMB Scotland.

GMB Scotland, the union for public service workers, is protesting to Glasgow City Council over spending over £100,000 per annum filling a senior management post within the Land and Environmental Services Department that the union consider is not needed at a time when the council is facing £103m cuts. See notes to editors for copy of GMB Scotland letter to the leader of the Council dated 15th October and copy of GMB Scotland press release on cuts dated 8th Oct..

Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland officer, said in the letter ”GMB Scotland were told, without consultation, that a decision, had been made to fill a vacant senior managers post, with a salary £80k per annum, which with add on costs i.e., pensions etc would eventually rise into six figures - a huge cost to the tax payers, to fill a job that GMB Scotland believe isn’t required. 

GMB Scotland believe that as the workload is currently been carried by four senior managers, who previously reported to this position, we fail to see what benefits the Council, employees and Council Tax Payers would gain from this appointment, based on the backdrop of £103m of cuts over the next two years which will affect staff levels and ultimately service provisions.  GMB Scotland is certain that this money could be best invested in streets which are increasingly filthy: roads and pavements very often dangerous: not forgetting the parks and public spaces which are now posing serious threats to the health and welfare of citizens. 

Notwithstanding the fact that Glasgow City Council has 35 time served apprentices who cannot get a full time job through the Council and have now been put on a rolling 4 week temporary contract.

GMB Scotland, firmly believes that a Labour run council, faced with cuts caused by underfunding, should not sanction such a decision and feels that once again Glasgow City Council should spend, what little money they say they have, more wisely.”

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Contact: Benny Rankin on 0141 352 8105 or 07912 560 808, GMB Press Office 07921 289 880

Notes to editor

1 Copy of GMB letter to Glasgow City Council dated 15th October

Mr F McAveety, Council Leader, Glasgow City Council,  Council Chambers,  George Square, GLASGOW.  G1.

Dear Councillor McAveety,

I refer to the meeting held on Wednesday 14th October, Council Offices, George Street, with a senior manager from Glasgow City Council.  GMB Scotland, Unite and Unison and were told, without consultation, that a decision, had been made to fill a vacant senior managers post, with a salary £80k per annum, which with add on costs i.e., pensions etc would eventually rise into six figures - a huge cost to the tax payers, to fill a job that GMB Scotland believe isn’t required. 

I write to say that I am utterly disappointed not only with the Council’s failure to involve GMB Scotland in any form of meaningful consultation, but that a decision to fill a senior position was taken, during the current economic climate, by a Labour controlled council.

GMB Scotland believe that as the workload is currently been carried by four senior managers, who previously reported to this position, we fail to see what benefits the Council, employees and Council Tax Payers would gain from this appointment, based on the backdrop of £103m of cuts over the next two years which will affect staff levels and ultimately service provisions.  GMB Scotland are certain that this money could be best invested in streets which are increasingly filthy: roads and pavements very often dangerous: not forgetting the parks and public spaces which are now posing serious threats to the health and welfare of citizens. 

Notwithstanding the fact that Glasgow City Council has 35 time served apprentices who cannot get a full time job through the Council and have now been put on a rolling 4 week temporary contract!

Surely the Council Tax Payers of Glasgow would benefit more from 35 young employees, attaining worthwhile experience, providing a service, having a future, than one high ranking individual, who isn’t required as this work is currently being shared by 4 under managers.

GMB Scotland, firmly believes that a Labour run council, faced with cuts caused by underfunding, should not sanction such a decision and feels that once again Glasgow City Council should spend, what little money they say they have, more wisely.

I look forward to your response in the not too distant future.

Yours sincerely Benny Rankin

2 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 repair.”

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