UNISON Edinburgh
UNISON Edinburgh WWW
spacerUNISON City of Edinburgh Branch
Home News About us- Join Contact and Help UNISON Scotland UNISON UK


News and Press Releases

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 Kerr)

“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 tell councillors.

“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 those services.”

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.

News Index | top

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 council.

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 beneath?

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.

News Index | top






News Home
Branch Magazine
Press Release Archive
and Responses