News Press release

UNISON says ‘enough is enough’ as Edinburgh faces another year of cuts

Enough is enoughUNISON, the biggest union in Edinburgh Council, will join Edinburgh Trades Union Council and community groups to lobby the council and the Scottish Parliament on 21 February 2019 to say ‘enough is enough’ as Edinburgh faces yet another cut of over £30 million.

The council lobby will be at the City Chambers, High Street Edinburgh from 09.00 – 10.00 on Thursday 21 February 2019 and the lobby at the Scottish Parliament will be on the same day from 12.00 – 14.00.

UNISON Edinburgh lead negotiator Tom Connolly said: “The Scottish government must stop handing down austerity to councils. While it has faced a revenue cut of 1.8% over the last five years, it has hit councils for a whopping 7.1% in cuts. Edinburgh has lost £240m – a quarter of its previous budget – in the last five years. Nine out of 10 of all the austerity job cuts have come from local councils.

“And it is not only council jobs. A total of 35 community and voluntary organisations are set to lose out on their funding this year with more cuts likely to follow. These groups provide services our communities rely upon. There is a very serious risk that our young, elderly and vulnerable citizens could fall between society’s cracks if we do not stand together and speak up for them.

“This just cannot continue if we expect decent local services. It is time for communities across Edinburgh to say enough is enough.”

UNISON Edinburgh branch spokesperson John Stevenson said: “These cuts come on top of the loss of 1,000 jobs and the threat of hundreds more as the council faces an additional shortfall of £98 million in the next few years – and that doesn’t include cuts to the health and social care joint board.

“It is bordering on bizarre that the Scottish Government says it is protecting services while it slashes local services year on year, leaving councils to carry the blame. Every pound cut, every job lost means a service is cut. UNISON is saying enough is enough and this silent slaughter of local services has to stop. We call on councillors to defend local services, challenge the Scottish Government for more funds and not just administer cuts.”