Glasgow Trade Unions call on Glasgow Councillors to refuse to vote for more cuts to jobs and services in our city.
Please find below an open e-mail/letter sent to all Glasgow City Councillors today.
Dear Glasgow City Councillor,
We write regarding the council budget setting process which you are now entering as an elected member.
The trade unions in Glasgow are clear that the primary responsibility for cuts to public services lies with the Tories at Westminster however we do believe that politicians from Glasgow and Scotland should be doing more to resist these cuts. We oppose the passing on of “Tory cuts” and believe that the anti-austerity mandate which Scotland’s politicians have should be used to ensure no more cuts in council jobs and services, whilst fighting the Tories at Westminster. Much more could be done in the short term to hold off further cuts by setting “No Cuts Budgets” via the use of borrowing powers, at both council and Scottish Government levels, through the refinancing of PFI/PPP deals, use of reserves and other legal financial processes. This would not be a panacea but a tactic to protect services whilst fighting for more money, more revenue raising powers, etc.
We also believe that the current Scottish local government funding arrangements disadvantage Glasgow. The multi-faceted impacts on council services of higher levels of poverty and our city’s metropolitan status are not sufficiently recognised at present. We hope that the new Council Administration’s aim of “Standing Up 4 Glasgow” will deliver in 2018. Over 4,000 Glasgow council jobs have already been lost in the last eight years. These jobs are crucial for the delivery of education, social care, home care, cleansing, sports, culture and the many other vital services provided by the council. Enough is enough.
We also believe that the Scottish Government should use it’s income tax powers in a progressive fashion to inject more money into council services. We are calling for more money for all councils in Scotland as it is clear that the Scottish Government’s anti-austerity rhetoric does not apply to local government with nine out of every ten public services jobs lost in the last five years being in local government.
We hope that as an elected member you will refuse to vote through any more cuts in our city’s jobs and services.
The trade unions are happy to discuss these issues with any elected member or group.
Brian Smith, UNISON
Susan Quinn, EIS
Benny Rankin, GMB
Eddie Cassidy, UNITE