There may be trouble ahead...

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Union leaders have warned industrial action is imminent in a dispute with East Dunbartonshire Council over workers’ terms and conditions.

UNISON, Unite, Ucatt and GMB are balloting their members on a series of selective measures, including a one-day strike on March 19 and working to rule.

Unions - who say hundreds of jobs are at risk - protested with dozens of workers outside council HQ in Kirkintilloch on Thursday night as the council met to set its budget for the year ahead.

Jim Burnett, branch secretary of Unison, told the Herald: “The council says it is not going to renegotiate and is asking unions to come up with the savings.

“We will meet with them up to the last minute to try to get a solution to this dispute – but the ballot is still going ahead.”

At Thursday’s budget meeting, council leader Rhondda Geekie said it was recognised some new suggestions from trade unions would have to be put on the table, adding: “I hope we would all agree to ask management and trade unions to continue dialogue to try to find alternative solutions which would deliver the savings and be acceptable to both parties.”

Unions say the council wants to impose changes on up to 800 of its members from April 6 this year. It is thought some who may be offered redundancy will be offered re-engagement by the council, but that may be on reduced terms and conditions.

A union spokesman described the council’s actions as “like putting a gun to people’s heads”.

Employees in the roads and neighbourhood services team, which includes janitors, bin men, cleaners and gardeners are among those affected.