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Date: Mon 28 January 2013

UNISON slams ‘damaging’ Stirling Council plan to cut vital services and jobs

Stirling UNISON branch has criticised a decision by the local council to give formal notice of up to 250 redundancies ahead of negotiations over budget plans - which should be intended to avoid such measures. 

James Douglas, Stirling UNISON branch secretary, said:
“We knew we were facing a challenging round of negotiations, but the employer’s move to take this drastic action is totally unnecessary and unwarranted. It suggests that damaging decisions to cut vital services on which our communities – and indeed our members and their families - depend have already been made. 

“Some of the proposals coming forward are completely unwarranted. The council are saying staff can either face job losses just now or work longer hours for no pay - which in their words will ‘allow for staffing numbers to be reduced.’ But we’ve already had a pay freeze for the last few years – and jobs have gone too.” 

Staffing levels at Stirling Council have been reduced over the last five years but these have been managed through negotiations with UNISON in order to avoid reductions in service delivery. In addition to the notice of 250 redundancies, the employer has also now proposed wide ranging changes to employee terms and conditions. 

UNISON Regional Organiser David O’Connor said:
“UNISON has worked with Stirling Council in facing up to the challenges that have come our way and I am bitterly disappointed that we have got to this point.

“We’ve achieved a lot mainly through the hard work and dedication of Council employees.

“However, you can only cut so much before you reach breaking point. We are now at that point.” 

Lesley Russell, UNISON branch chair said:
“Our members are incensed at the cuts to jobs and services which are being proposed. UNISON would hope that a negotiated agreement can be reached - but we cannot rule out the possibility of industrial action to protect our members and the vital services they deliver.” 

ends 

For further information please contact:
James Douglas, Stirling UNISON Branch Secretary, 0782 6903 550
Lesley Russell, Stirling UNISON Branch Chair, 0771 7544 968
David O’Connor, UNISON Regional Organiser, 0795 8121 861 / 0131 226 0074
Malcolm Burns, Communications Officer, UNISON Scotland, 0141 342 2877 or 078765 66978

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