Glasgow City Council Trade Unions - Unison, Unite, GMB, EIS, UCATT:
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. Voluntary organisations providing care services in the city have cut hundreds of jobs due to reductions in funding from the council. In the last five years charges for many council services have gone up or been introduced for the first time. These charges often hit the poorest families most.
The council has stated it intends to make further cuts of £103m in 2016 and 2017 and has raised the possibility of another 3,000 job cuts, this is over 10% of the remaining workforce. This will be a disaster for vital services in the city and hit future employment opportunities for our young people.
Alternative No Cuts budget and campaign to win more money
The city’s trade unions, along with various community organisations and anti-cuts groups, have been campaigning against these cuts from the start. Glasgow City Council politicians have a choice – make the Tory cuts or do not. We 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”.
Oppose Scottish Government cuts to local councils
The trade unions are 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. Overall the trade unions call on the Scottish Government to change its policy on restricting funding for local government services.
We need directly funded and run council services
Glasgow City Council should bring council owned Arm’s Length External Organisations 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.
For more information see Facebook Pages of Defend Glasgow Services, Glasgow Trades Council and Glasgow Care Crisis.