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Scottish Parliament Lobby Over Glasgow Cuts

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

GMB Scotland Lobby Scottish Parliament On 10th Dec Over £121 Million Cuts And 3,000 Job Losses At Glasgow City Council Over Next Two Years

The funding formula for Glasgow is being enforced by the Scottish Government whereby Glasgow ends up subsidising other councils to its own detriment says GMB Scotland.

GMB Scotland, the union for public service workers, will lobby the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood on Thursday 10th December at 12 noon in protest against the £121m of budget cuts at Glasgow City Council, and its arms-length bodies. See notes to editors for previous GMB Scotland press release on the cuts.

GMB Scotland is insisting that the Scottish Government steps in to change the funding formulae and save Glasgow’s services.

Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland Organiser, said “I am meeting with Labour Group Leader, Frank McAveety this afternoon (9th December 2015) to demand that they find alternatives to these proposed budget cuts which will result in massive job losses and of course loss of services.

At this time of austerity and shameful food banks the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council should work together to stop the Tories austerity cuts being passed onto Glasgow’s citizens. 

Glasgow City Councillors are doing nothing to prevent these cuts, laying the blame firmly at Holyrood’s door – likewise the Scottish Government say it’s up to Glasgow how it spends its budget.

Glasgow has had the third biggest decrease in monies allocated from the Scottish Government from 2014 onwards. 

The main issue is how Glasgow is treated regarding its budget funding and that Glasgow does not get the same percentage back from its revenue for funding the budget that the other councils in Scotland get. The funding formula for Glasgow is being enforced by the Scottish Government. Glasgow ends up subsidising other councils to its own detriment.

This shifting the blame has to be addressed. The political standoff only hurts the people of Glasgow and the services that they rely on and pay for in their council tax.

The First Minister knows only too well the ongoing problems that Glasgow’s services face: being the MSP for Glasgow South side and her constituency office is based in Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow.

Likewise, the Councillors, who like their constituents live and work in Glasgow, cannot fail to see the erosion of their services and the impact that this has on their City – it is high time that they stand up for the people who they promised to serve and for the City that they promised to protect. 

Anything less is to show contempt to the workers who make Glasgow work.”

End

Contact: Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland Regional Officer on 07912 560808 or 0141 332 8641 or GMB press office 07921 289880

Notes to editors

Copy of previous GMB Scotland press release dated 15th 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.”

End

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