Unions rally against job cuts

11-02-2016 Picture Roberto Cavieres. Council employees lobbying with councillors outside council HQ, Kirkintilloch over no compulsory redundancies.

11-02-2016 Picture Roberto Cavieres. Council employees lobbying with councillors outside council HQ, Kirkintilloch over no compulsory redundancies.

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Trade unions representing thousands of East Dunbartonshire Council employees have held a protest lobby calling
for “no compulsory” redundancies in the wake of cost-cutting measures.

The local authority needs to find savings of £10.9 million over the next year to balance the books.

Decisions on where the axe will fall will be made at a budget meeting of the council on March 17.

The area’s biggest employer with 3,700 jobs and concerns were also raised recently that key services could be privatised.

Unison, Unite, the GMB and UCATT unions held a lobby at outside council HQ in Kirkintilloch on Thursday.

Kirkintilloch East Councillor Jack Young (Ind) and Bishopbriggs Councillors Anne McNair (SNP) and Gordon Low (SNP) joined the unions in support of their stance.

Councillor Young said afterwards: “This council has strived to achieve a policy of no compulsory redundancies in very difficult times and from that point of view we have done considerably well.

“At the moment, there is nothing I know of that would change this.”

Unison representative Tommy Robertson said: “We asked all the councillors to join us to show their support for our campaign.

“We want the council to reinstate a “no compulsory redundancy” policy for our members.”

At the beginning of the month, it was confirmed council tax will be frozen once again in 2016/2017.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “Aggregating our grant settlement, council tax income and the current cost of delivering our services, we find ourselves facing a savings target of £10.9 million.

“Our focus must now turn to how we will make these savings – which we cannot forget is on top of £50 million in 
savings over the past 10 years.

“Balancing our budgets in recent years has become more and more challenging .

“I do not relish the decisions we face on March 17 when we finalise where 
savings can be made.

“I think it is only fair to 
emphasise again that changes to service delivery are 
inevitable given the scale of the 
challenge we face.”