Mark Whitehead 20 May 2016

Glasgow council workers vote to strike over new conditions

Members of the GMB union at Glasgow City Council have voted to strike over changes to working arrangements which they say could cost them up to £500 a year each.

The union says the dispute was sparked by the council's decision to convert six public holidays into annual leave, removing overtime rates which are crucial in helping workers avoid the low pay trap.

It will notify the council of dates for the strike which is likely to affect services including cleansing, refuse, land and environment, bereavement services and social care.

Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland officer, said: 'Our members are taking a stand to resist the threat of poverty pay and to fight for decent public services under public ownership for the next generation.

'It is the lowest paid across of the council who are bearing the brunt of the Scottish government's austerity agenda, with £130m worth of cuts to the city's budget expected over the next two years.

'Yet instead of resisting these cuts or pursuing meaningful alternatives, the council leadership is rolling over on its hardworking staff at the coalface of service delivery and that is completely unacceptable.'

In response, cllr Martin Rhodes, the council's executive member for personnel, said: 'The city is dealing with the worst cuts ever imposed by the Scottish Government and we recognise the impact they are having.

'We’ve been in continuous discussions with the union to explore ways we can work together to mitigate against these cuts. We’re willing to continue that dialogue and we would hope there would be no need to take industrial action.

'We have given staff a commitment to having no compulsory redundancies and our employees will continue to have some of the best terms and conditions anywhere.

'The real issue here is the chronic under-funding of the city by the Scottish Government. We are prepared to work with everyone to campaign for a fairer deal for Glasgow.'

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