campaign against public service cuts
10 February 2011
Branch warns that cuts will hit services
and damage the local economy
As Aberdeenshire Council today approved budget cuts of over
£50 million, the branch has warned of the damaging impact
that this will have on jobs, services and the local economy. We
have called on Aberdeenshire councillors to keep their commitment
to no compulsory redundancies and to maintain services to the
Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said, "We have said from the
outset that the UK government is wrong to cut public services;
that these cuts are unnecessary and will further damage the local
and UK economy.
"Cuts to public services are driven by political ideology
and not economic necessity. In fact, as many respected economists
have pointed out, public service cuts will only make things worse.
Look at Ireland which went down the same austerity route. That
shows beyond a doubt that it is not the way to repair the economy.
"And we are not "all in this together". Cuts will
hit the poor and low paid much more than the rich. You only have
to look at the "business as usual" banks to see that.
They have announced a £6 billion bonus pay out for this
year which is the same amount that is being cut from public services.
How can the Westminster government justify that?" she asked.
Inez Teece, Branch Secretary added, "The branch will continue
our campaign to get the message out there that there is a better
and fairer way to deal with the deficit, which ensures that the
wealthy and the banks pay their fair share. We will work with
the the council to minimise the impact on jobs and services but
we will also continue our campaign of political lobbying and challenging
the cuts in the media.
"We will look to our members to let us know how the cuts
are impacting on them as workers and on their service users and
communities, and we will highlight the impact of these cuts wherever
Click here for press release.
Branch briefs elected
members and calls for no compulsory redundancies and protection
of services to the most vulnerable
As budget day looms, the branch has briefed elected members
and the press and media on the likely impact of the proposed budget
cuts on jobs, services and the local economy.
The branch has called on elected members to keep to their
commitment to no compulsory redundancies and to maintain services
to the most vulnerable, when they consider the budget at Full
Council on 10th Feb.
here to see the Briefing in full.
Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said, "We share the views of
respected economists that public service cuts are unnecessary
and worse, will damage the fragile economic recovery by increasing
unemployment, reducing tax receipts and significantly decreasing
spending in the local economy.
"Unemployment in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire currently
stands at 5,300. Cutting 900 fte jobs in Aberdeenshire alongside
planned redundancies in the City will increase unemployment in
the area by 34% at a time when the number of job vacancies in
Scotland has fallen by 60% between 2007 and 2010. This does not
make economic sense."
The branch is particularly concerned about proposals to slash
the numbers of learning support staff in schools and plans to
cut services to the elderly and disabled and other vulnerable
"The council has a statutory duty to make sure that children
with a range of additional support needs can get the support they
need in school - support ranging from help with their learning
to care and medical support.
"Already we are seeing the knock-on effects of cuts in learning
support staff through the ending of temporary contracts. Our members
warn us that if this situation continues, it is very likely that
children with additional needs will not get the support they need
in the classroom, and that all pupils will suffer as a result,"
"We believe that once parents appreciate the potential impact
on the education of the most vulnerable children and the knock
on effect for other pupils, that they may well challenge the Council
on the decision to cut learning support."
Inez Teece, Branch Secretary said, "We are also concerned
that cuts to the services for older people and those with disabilities
will mean that fewer will be supported to remain within their
own homes and communities. This will potentially cost more for
the Council in the longer term.
"These proposed cuts will have the biggest effect on women,
both as workers - mainly low paid - and carers," she added.
She said, "UNISON will work with the council to minimise
the impact of the cuts on jobs and services. However, already
our members are beginning to feel the effects of vacancy freeze
and are having to do more with less. We are calling on the council
to monitor the impact of these cuts on services, jobs, and on
our members working conditions and their health and well-being"
The cuts are not necessary and will damage
the economy ...Spread the word
was the key message for the members and non-members who attended
a series of six Briefing Meetings held by the branch at venues
across Aberdeenshire from Banff to Stonehaven.
They heard about UNISON's campaign to defend public services
in the face of an ideological attack from the UK Government, and
what they can do to support the campaign.
UNISON has said from the outset that these cuts are not necessary
and will damage the fragile recovery. Already we are seeing the
economy slide into the start of a double dip recession. In 2008/09
the biggest increase in the deficit came from a reduction in tax
receipts because of the number of people out of work. Throwing
public service workers out of jobs will only make matters worse.
Yes, the deficit needs to be reduced. However, there is a better
way to do this, through fairer taxation to ensure the wealthy
in this country, and the banks who created this crisis, and for
whom it is business as usual, with huge bonuses the norm again,
pay their fair share.
here to download a "Spread the Word" postcard
Click here to read the key messages
Although for many, the cuts are not yet having an impact, for
others, the threat is only too real and already they are feeling
the effects of vacancy freezes and cuts to their budgets.
Members brought a range of worries and concerns about how the
cuts will affect the services they provide and agreed to keep
the branch informed as the cuts start to bite.
sets up meetings about budget cuts
The branch has set up a series of meetings around Aberdeenshire
and is urging both members and non-members to come along and find
out what the branch is doing to support members who are facing
job loss as a result of the council's budget cuts; and how we
are campaigning against the spending cuts imposed by this Tory/LibDem
Government and in defence of the services that the public rely
Click here to find out why there
is no need for public service cuts
Please come along and tell us how the budget cuts will affect
you and the services you provide, and find out what you can do
to help UNISON's campaign against the cuts.
The meetings will all be held between 12.30 and 1.30 pm
and the dates and venues are below:
Tuesday 25th January at Ellon Kirk Centre
Wednesday 26th January at Fraserburgh Leisure Centre
Monday 31st January at Council Chambers, Viewmount, Stonehaven
Tuesday 1st February at Committee Room 5, Woodhill House
Wednesday 2nd February at Council Chamber, Gordon House
Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available.
"No school cleaner gambled billions
on the stock exchange - No home carer, no social worker,
no librarian. None of them created this recession. Why should
they be expected to pay for it?expected
to pay for it?" Dave Prentis,
UNISON General Secretary
Cuts will affect services, warns branch
Aberdeenshire UNISON Branch is
deeply concerned at the potential impact of the Council's proposed
budget cuts on the services our members provide.
We have written out to all our members to reassure you all that
we are aware of the budget proposals and will work with members
and the council to minimise the impact of the cuts on jobs and
here for letter
We have also issued a press
Ramsden, Branch Chair said "UNISON has said from the outset that
cutting the public's services is not the right way to deal with
the debt and will in fact make things worse. Aberdeenshire, like
every Council has been put in a very difficult position by the
unfair and unjust policies of the ConDem Government at Westminster
and the knock on effects for Scottish spending. However make no
mistake, if 900 jobs go, people's services will be seriously affected.
"Aberdeenshire was the best performing Council in Scotland last
year so we are not in this position because of waste and inefficiency.
Why should Aberdeenshire folk pay the price for the crisis caused
by the bankers?" asked Kate.
Teece, Branch Secretary added "We recognise that this is an extremely
worrying time for all our members and we will continue to work
with Aberdeenshire Council to minimise the impact of the cuts.
"The Branch will be meeting with the members in the new year
to gauge their reaction to the cuts and to discuss how best to
protect jobs and services."
here for article in Press and Journal 19th November 2010