TU’s budget statement – Update 20/02/2016
Trade union officials held meetings with elected members on Friday to discuss their concerns. A number of proposals were discussed for amendments to policies and budget proposals in order to address those concerns. The meetings were positive with all sides agreeing to consider alternatives for Tuesday’s special Council meeting
Clackmannanshire TU’s budget statement
The Clackmannanshire joint trade union committee have been in discussions with managers and elected members for some months about the Council budget and how best to deal with the financial deficit.
While it is heartening that the SNP administration have honoured their commitment to only consider voluntary redundancies thus far, it is none the less distressing that the Council has decided that so many jobs must go in order to balance its books. It is estimated that around 400 jobs will go at the Council within the next few years and such cuts will mean severe reductions in the vital public services that the people of Clackmannanshire rely on as well as having a devastating impact on the local economy.
These are very worrying times for our members and for service users in the area, so we will fight hard to protect as many jobs and services as possible during the months and years ahead.
Additionally, trade unions have several concerns about some of the options being put forward in the budget. These concerns have been passed onto the elected members and we are awaiting word on urgent meetings to discuss them before they are voted on at Tuesday’s special council meeting.
Chief amongst those concerns are the inclusion of a compulsory element in the redundancy policy and the confirmation that this would be based on the legal minimum compensatory package which would hit low paid workers hardest at a time when they had just lost their livelihood’s. In addition, there is a section on the removal of trade union facility time which would effect the amount of support we can offer our members at their time of greatest need.
These things would rightly be seen as an obvious attack on workers and their representatives which goes completely against SNP policy and their stated aims of protecting workers rights.
Pamela Robertson, JTUC Secretary has said “It’s unthinkable that elected members would vote through a change to employee terms and conditions without due negotiations with trade unions first. That would be acting like Jeremy Hunt and the Tories imposing new detrimental contracts on junior doctors. We fully expect that this part of the budget paper will be voted down until these negotiations have taken place.”
Andy Kane, JTUC chair added “It was an SNP led Council which first awarded dedicated facility time in order to provide support for the staff at Clackmannanshire Council because they recognised the benefits that trade unions bring to the table for both staff and the organisation as a whole. We would be extremely disappointed if elected members of all parties didn’t stop this attack on trade unions in its tracks.”