Friday, 30 November 2012

UNISON warns against cuts in North Lanarkshire - why should jobs and services go if the need still exists?

30 Nov 2012

Statement in support of UNISON North Lanarkshire branch rally by
Mike Kirby, UNISON Scottish Secretary

"North Lanarkshire Council has announced proposals for cutting £73.3 million from their budget - the deepest cut in the history of the Council. It is clear from the areas that they are looking at that their plans could have a major effect on our members, their jobs and importantly the services provided to vulnerable sections of the community.

"The employees identified for potential redundancies are the very employees who the Council thanked for assisting in the delivery of the previous £55 million cuts package. The Council say they are still committed to improving services and ‘motivating’ staff.

"Local authorities continue to see their budgets squeezed, while demand for services is steadily rising. As part of these challenges, finances and welfare reform are two big issues facing all local authorities.

"The cuts we are facing, in Lanarkshire and across the UK, are not about austerity measures to meet an economic problem, but about politics. A politics that hates public services and loves to profit from privatisation. A politics that sees a workforce engaged in caring and educating not as an achievement to be celebrated but as a problem to be tackled.

"Why should the jobs and services go if the need still exists?

"The Scottish Government allocation has severely constrained local authorities. However the Scottish Government does have a choice - it may be a difficult choice, it may be a very expensive choice, but it is their choice nonetheless, and it could remove the council tax freeze.

"If the council moves to any form of compulsory redundancies, UNISON will consult on industrial action."

Mike Kirby will be speaking at the UNISON North Lanarkshire rally on Thursday 6 December


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