GMB Scotland Consultative Ballot On 3rd Feb For Members At Glasgow City Council Over Cuts To Terms And Conditions And 3,000 Job Losses
Wealthy Glasgow households paying less council tax in real terms than eight years ago is not right so Scottish Parliament should act to mitigate the impact of the cuts in least affluent areas says GMB Scotland.
GMB Scotland, the union for public sector workers are stepping up the campaign cuts and 3,000 jobs losses in Glasgow City Council. See notes to editors for copies of previous GMB Scotland press releases with details of the cuts.
On Wednesday 3rd February GMB Scotland is starting a consultative ballot of members Glasgow City Council on proposals put forward on 18th January on job cuts and cut terms and conditions of employment as part of £121million budget cut under the Transforming Glasgow Programme.
GMB Scotland is also holding a protest demonstration outside the City Chambers in Thurs 4th Feb from 09.45 am when the proposals debated by the Glasgow City Council Executive Committee meeting from 10 am.
GMB Scotland along with the other unions has written to the Glasgow City Council leader Frank McAveety requesting permission to speak to the Executive Committee before they make a decision. GMB Scotland is awaiting a response. The leader of the opposition Cllr Susan Aitken supports this request.
Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland Organiser, said “The services, due to previous cuts, are in free fall. Further attacks on our members’ terms and conditions cannot be tolerated.”
Cuts on our members’ terms and conditions are yet more attacks on the lower paid section of the council. In real term the expected savings by these cuts are projected to save £4.5m which in the grand scheme of things is small potatoes.
But what these cuts could potentially do is place the lowest paid employees of Glasgow City Council and their families into poverty.
The consultative ballot will call for our members to participate in action including strike action in defence of their terms and conditions.
GMB Scotland members from Glasgow will support the lobby tomorrow (3rd Feb) at the Scottish Parliament for them to use their powers to raise additional revenues to mitigate the impact of the cuts in the pipeline.
An additional 1p on income tax with the rebate for the lower paid would go some way to reverse the erosion of the tax base in Scotland where the eight year freeze in council tax has led to a loss of £450m per year which councils would have had if council tax had kept pace with inflation.
It is not right that wealthy Glasgow households pay less council tax in real terms than eight years ago leading to cuts to jobs and services in the city’s least affluent areas.”
Contact: Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland Regional Officer on 07912 560808 or 0141 332 8641 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251823
Notes to editors
Copy of previous GMB press releases
1 GMB press release dated 19th January 2016
REALITY BITES IN GLASGOW CUTS AS DIRECT AND ARMS LENGTH STAFF FACE CUTS TO PAY AND CONDITIONS IN ADDITION TO 3,000 JOB LOSSES
The talks are at an early stage in the consultation process but the clock is ticking as indications are that cuts need to be in place by 1st April 2016 says GMB Scotland
GMB Scotland, the union for public sector workers, at a meeting on 18th January with Glasgow City Council were informed about how job would be cut and of the proposals to cut terms and conditions of employment as part of £121million budget cut under the Transforming Glasgow Programme.. See notes to editors for copy of previous GMB Scotland press releases on the cuts in Glasgow.
The meeting was with Mr Robert Anderson, Corporate Human Resources Manager at the City Council covered workforce planning and redeployment, harmonisation of terms and conditions of employment.
GMB Scotland was informed that the council remains committed to having no compulsory redundancies and that they consider that redeployment will be the best method used to match areas of demand with areas of surplus.
The City Council want to harmonise terms and conditions amongst the staff in the arms-length external organizations (Aleos) and between the Aleos and the council staff to ensure staff flexibility across the all these bodies.
In particular the council want:
The reduction of non-contractual overtime payments to plain time
The proposal to convert 6 public holidays to annual leave
The removal of flexi leave
The reduction of holiday entitlement for new starts
Introduction of flexible retirement scheme
Expansion of salary sacrifice opportunities
Increase of number of days annual leave that can be foregone.
A further meeting has been scheduled for Wed 27th January for unions to convey objections to the proposals.
Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland Organiser, said “This a clear attack on current terms and conditions. The talks are at an early stage in the consultation process but the clock is ticking as indications are that cuts need to be in place by 1st April 2016.
Transforming Glasgow Programme is about job cuts and cuts to terms and conditions to balance the £121 million pound budget cut.
Why should the workforce and the people of Glasgow suffer? Every job cut is a cut to an already decimated service.
The proposals equate to more work for staff to do through lack of staff, less money for doing it and more stress in the workplace.
Every employee whether they are employed by Glasgow City Council or any of the Aleo's will be affected by the Transforming Glasgow Programme. It is now more important than ever that all member’s voices are heard and that they have a say in their future and that these draconian measures that are proposed do not see fruition.
It's now time for everyone to stand together, join the fight against these cuts.
Last month the Scottish Government missed the opportunity to using revenue raising powers to increase investment in public services. One penny on income tax in Scotland could raise an additional £514m per annum.
If council tax had kept pace with inflation Scottish councils would be raising an additional £427m in 2016/17. There would be no need to raid Scottish Government central funds to compensate for these lost taxes thus increasing to amount available for the block grants to councils by £427m.
This eight year freeze of council tax is eroding Scotland's tax base. The compensation mechanism perpetuates a "Rob Peter to pay Paul" approach to funding Scotland's councils and should stop.
As well as opposing these cuts in Glasgow and other councils GMB Scotland will work to build a consensus for a tax base to be broadened in a fair way to pay for essential public services”.
2 Copy of GMB Scotland press release 9th December 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.”
3 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
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.”