25 June 2015
Time for government to stop starving councils
UNISON warns Edinburgh councillors to be
sure what they are signing up to
UNISON is urging City of Edinburgh councillors
meeting today to ‘be sure what they are signing
up to’ when they consider plans for almost
1,000 job losses and cuts of £107 million.
(See also statement from Branch Secretary Amanda
“The plans before the council are so vague
and so lacking in detail that councillors are unlikely
to know exactly what they are voting for when it
comes to delivering services. They need to be sure
what they are signing up to”, UNISON will
“After years of £90million cut upon
£90million cut and a 20% reduction in funds,
another £107million cut will mean whole services
are likely to vanish”, Amanda Kerr, UNISON
Edinburgh branch secretary.
“It is time for Governments at Westminster
and Holyrood to stop blaming councils for cutting
services while starving them of the money to provide
Tom Connolly, UNISON negotiator and staff side
secretary for the council unions said: “Governments
bemoan the crisis in social care for elderly and
disabled, yet they cut the money for councils to
provide those services. They say Education has to
get better, yet they cut the money. They call for
councils to maintain roads better, yet they cut
the funding. It is time they took responsibility
for the cuts they are imposing.
“And it is also time for councillors to stand
up for these services and to challenge the governments
rather than just passing on the cuts.”
“In local government, a job lost is a service
lost. Our members are being asked to do more and
more with less and less. They are being leaned on
to provide the impossible. Systems keep changing
like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic while
everyone knows service to the public is getting
worse. Councils have to stop pretending and be honest
about the effect of these cuts”, added John
Stevenson, UNISON Edinburgh president.
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Council Transformation - UNISON Branch Secretary
calls for halt to plans and for council to be champions
of public services and not the champions of cuts
25/6/15: Amanda Kerr
UNISON has major concerns about this report to
With so little details can councillors honestly
put hand on heart and say they they fully understand
exactly what they are signing up to?
Whilst we can see how the report lays out a mini
council approach, it is extremely unclear what lies
Where does almost 1000 jobs disappear from and
how was this figure arrived at?
Obviously the Transformation team, having looked
at the "questionable" results of the activity
analysis (which we have yet to see) have some idea
of where these groups of staff will be deleted from
, but can you guarantee that the same quality or
level of service can still be provided?
The way the Voluntary Severance package is being
presented basically holds a loaded gun to the heads
of your staff, jump now or we will push you eventually
on far lower package!
We have had problems in the past when we moved
to the neighbourhood structure, confusion around
roles and lack of specialist knowledge at managerial
level, should we not have learned from this mistake?
Councillors were elected to provide the best quality
public service to the people of Edinburgh they are
supposed to represent, they were not elected to
decimate services and put people out of work.
Council is aware of the effect of job losses can
have on the local communities.
Whilst recognising that councillors feel the pressures
from Westminster and Holyrood we ask that this council
become the Champions of public services and not
the champions of cuts. We urge you to fight back
against the cuts and stop sitting back qnd merely
pass them on.
We therefore ask you to oppose the motion or at
least defer it until more details are given.
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