Unions renew ‘no compulsory job cuts’ call

Argyll and Bute’s four biggest trade unions have united in their call for councillors to defend services and jobs in their annual budget meeting this week.

Unison, EIS, Unite and the GMB have have made four key demands ahead of the council’s crucial meeting on February 14 - for no compulsory redundancies, no compulsory reductions in hours for any staff, no to the closure of Struan Lodge care home and to putting the service at Kintyre Network Centre out to tender, and improved terms to encourage people to volunteer for redundancy and avoid the need for compulsory job losses.

The unions issued the following joint statement on Tuesday:

“Unison, EIS, Unite and GMB have met with the SNP administration twice in recent weeks to discuss the budget, most recently on Friday [February 8].

“The unions acknowledged the financial challenges facing the council, but pointed out these are the consequences of the failed austerity policy of the UK government, which in turn has been fed through by the Scottish government.

“The unions believe that the political leadership of the council should be up front with the people of Argyll and Bute by indicating the real shortfalls between what the budget they will set delivers and what the real local needs are.”

Simon Macfarlane, Unison’s regional organiser, said: “In all our discussions with the council leadership we acknowledged the difficult situation they face, while calling on them to show true leadership.

“We believe that by committing to our four points, the council could secure the trust and confidence of their staff, their families and the wider population of Argyll & Bute.

“As the biggest employer in the area they need to take fear away from workers by committing to not make people compulsorily redundant or cut their hours. Nor should they close or put out to tender vital council services such as Struan Lodge or the Kintyre Network Centre.”

For all the latest news from Thursday’s budget meeting, keep an eye on www.buteman.co.uk.