Thursday, 10 October 2013

UNISON members step up strike action over ‘savage cuts’ by Stirling Council

UNISON members within Stirling Council are set to step up industrial action after talks with the council’s Chief Executive presented a ‘re-hash’ of the original proposals for savage cuts.

UNISON Stirling Council branch believes that this package of cuts proposed by the council will damage the vital services which local people rely on - and further reduce wages which have already been devalued by 13% over the last three years as a result of a pay freeze.

David O'Connor, Regional Organiser for UNISON said: “We were asked to meet the Chief Executive with a view of considering how we resolve the ongoing dispute only to be presented with a re-hash of the original proposals for savage cuts. The trade unions tabled suggestions on how we could move forward only to have these suggestions ignored.

“With what can only be described as an unwillingness on the employer’s part to enter into meaningful talks to resolve this dispute we have been left with no alternative to step up our action.”

Lorraine Thompson, UNISON Stirling branch secretary, said: “The council’s offer is insulting - the combination of a 1.5% pay cut and the requirement to work an extra 7.5 days a year, actually amounts to a 4.5% pay cut for the majority. This comes on top of a three year pay freeze which has meant a real terms pay cut of about 13%.

“These proposals are by far the worst faced by any council in Scotland. We feel we have been left with no option but to proceed with a strike due to the savage cuts proposed by our employer.”
UNISON Stirling branch and the other trade unions at the council are currently in discussion with a view to putting in place a unified campaign and a programme of industrial action.

Lorraine Thompson said: “We regret any disruption or inconvenience our action may cause, but we feel we have no alternative than to take industrial action to protect our pay and conditions of service with Stirling Council. We hope that the strength of feeling shown by its employees sends a clear message to both Stirling Council and its management team that enough is enough.”

UNISON Stirling branch has also called on the Chief Executive and the leader of Stirling Council to withdraw letters of dismissal which have been issued, following a large number of complaints from members.

Regional Organiser David O'Connor said: “The door remains open for further discussion with the employer on a way forward, but these discussions have to be meaningful.”


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