Thurs 29 November 2007
UNISON fury at Council's shared services spin
UNISON has reacted furiously to the way the City of Edinburgh
Council has announced over 800 job losses as part of a reorganisation
for 'shared services' with Fife and Borders councils.
"Before a planned meeting with union leaders today, the council
selectively spun the story to the media before telling their
own staff. Seven minutes into the meeting with UNISON, the council
emailed all staff - again without telling the union - with a
watered down version of what they had told the press. This does
not bode well for the council's claim to want openness in their
dealing with their staff", said John Stevenson, spokesperson
for UNISON's Edinburgh Branch.
"We have spoken with the council for some time about the shared
services agenda and made it clear that we do not oppose measures
to improve services and make them more efficient.
"But this looks more like an internal cost-cutting exercise
than anything. With the other councils apparently not expecting
job losses, you have to ask why Edinburgh will cut 800 jobs.
"We have immediate concerns that front-line services will be
directly affected. We also understand that politicians are not
ruling out compulsory redundancies", added Mr Stevenson.
UNISON points to areas like home based services when the home
care service has already been affected by huge council cuts
"We now need to get into serious talks with the councils concerned
and our UNISON counterparts in Fife and Borders. But the council
needs to be clear that our industrial action in August will
be followed by more if there are any compulsory redundancies",
added Mr Stevenson.