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Date: Thurs 22 August 2013

Strike over ‘savage cuts’ by Stirling Council

Local government workers in Stirling will begin strike action on Monday (26 August) against ‘savage cuts’ being imposed by their employer.

UNISON Stirling Council branch believes that the 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.

Members of UNISON and other unions have voted to take industrial action beginning with a one day strike on Monday 26 August.

Branch secretary James Douglas said:
“We have been left with no option but to proceed with a strike due to the savage cuts proposed by our employer.

“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%. And the proposal to move to a 37 hour week also means a reduction in hourly rate of pay for all including the lowest paid.

“These proposals are by far the worst faced by any council in Scotland. But it was not local government workers or the people who rely on our services who caused the economic crisis - and we should not be forced to pay for it. We certainly do not appear to be ‘all in this together’.”

James Douglas said:
“We regret any disruption or inconvenience this strike 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. Unions did not walk away from the negotiating table – the employer did.

“We hope that a one day strike will send a clear message to both Stirling Council and its management team that enough is enough. We believe that this will force the council to think again. The changes to terms and conditions affect all of us, therefore we need to stand together and be prepared to fight for our rights.”

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.

James Douglas said:
 “Staff have said that they feel intimidated and bullied into signing new contracts, as they believe that the letter implies that they will lose their jobs if they don’t sign. We have referred the issue of letters of dismissal to our legal team for their view of the letter and any action that can be taken. I have asked that the letter be withdrawn and that a new letter giving the full legal position be sent out to all staff.”

ends

For further information please contact:
James Douglas UNISON Branch Secretary mobile 07826903559
Lesley Russell UNISON Branch Chair mobile 07717544968
David O'Connor UNISON Regional Organiser mobile 07958121861

 

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