William Eichler 11 March 2016

Glasgow to lose 1,500 council jobs because of ‘double whammy’ in cuts

Glasgow City Council will be radically reducing their workforce over the next financial year in an attempt to close a multi-million pound spending gap.

The Scottish council has announced it will need to cut up to 1,500 jobs in 2016/17 as part of an attempt to save £58m during the same period.

The council, which passed its budget yesterday, is facing a spending gap of £130m over the next two years, but emphasises there are no plans to introduce compulsory redundancies.

Cllr Frank McAveety, leader of the council, said: ‘The £130m cuts we face over the next two years are not just cuts from Westminster. Glasgow has had a double whammy of Holyrood cuts piled on top of those from Westminster.’

The Scottish government announced last December a cut in local government funding of 3.5% - £350m - over the coming year, a move branded at the time as ‘unacceptable’ by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).

Cllr McAveety blames Holyrood for the financial pressure Glasgow is under and argues the Scottish government is reducing their spending more than Whitehall.

He said: ‘The Scottish Government is passing on a bigger share of the cuts to local government than those being passed on to it from the UK Government.

‘While the Scottish Government budget was cut by 1.5% by Westminster here in Glasgow our budget faces a 4.4% cut from Holyrood. The result can be figured in tens of millions.’

Figures published by trade union GMB show more than 25,000 job cuts are being planned at 52 councils across the country.

GMB is also accusing Glasgow City Council of canceling May Day.

In a press release issued today, the union said the Scottish council’s budget includes the removal of public holidays and reduced holiday entitlement for new employees.

Benny Rankin, GMB organiser for the council, said: ‘It’s rather ironic that one of the last remaining Labour Councils in Scotland have proposed to do away with the May Day Holiday. For our members, however, it’s more serious as this change will have a big impact on their earning levels.

’We estimate these changes will cost workers between £500 and £1000 per year. GMB members have already signalled that they refuse to lose a penny off their pay and GMB will oppose these actions with all means available including industrial action.’

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