Branch response to 2016 council budget

24th Feb 2016

Branch campaigns at Scottish Parliament for an increase to council budget settlement

Lobby of Scottish Parliament

Branch activists lobbied the Scottish Parliament on 3rd and 24th February as it debated the Budget Bill, to call on the Scottish Government to improve their settlement for Local Authorities to prevent cuts and job loss.

Susan Kennedy and Inez Teece with branch banner
Susan Kennedy and Inez Teece with branch banner

Inez Teece, Branch Secretary and Vice Chair of the Scottish Local Government Committee who attended both events with the branch banner said, "It was good to see such a big turnout at the lobby of parliament on the Budget Bill.

"It is very disappointing that the Scottish Government has refused to shift and is talking down the impact of the cuts on council jobs and services.

Branch banner
Cllr Alison Evison holds the branch banner with Inez at the first lobby on 3rd Feb

"The powers of the Scottish Parliament that we voted for are not just there to be admired, stroked and talked about - they are there to be used!"

Assistant Branch Secretary, Susan Kennedy added, "We have heard about 3000 jobs to go in Glasgow, and 2000 in South Lanarkshire and Edinburgh.

"These mean real cuts to real services to real people at a time when the demand from a growing population of older people is increasing.

"Even up here where there are no compulsory redundancies, vacancy freezes and the ending of fixed term contracts leave permanent staff doing more with less.

"We rightly value and protect our NHS. But councils look after the health of our citizens too and local authority services need the same protection."


11th Feb 2016

Elected members sign up to UNISON's no compulsory redundancies campaign on budget day

Branch members at Woodhill House
Branch calls on councillors to pledge no compulsory redundancies on budget day

Members of Aberdeenshire UNISON were on hand to ask elected members to sign up to UNISON’s  “No Compulsory Redundancies” campaign as they arrived at Woodhill House for this year’s budget meeting on Thursday 11th February.

The branch has welcomed Aberdeenshire Council’s public commitment to no outsourcing of services and no compulsory redundancies, but has warned that non-filling of vacancies and the ending of temporary contracts could have the same effect.

See press release

Branch at Woodhill on budget day
Mant elected members signed up to a no compulsory redundancies pledge

Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said, "We were delighted that a high number of elected members signed UNISON's pledge cards.

"The council agrees that its most important resource is its staff and we welcome the commitment Aberdeenshire Council has made publicly to no compulsory redundancies and no outsourcing of services."

Inez Teece, Branch Secretary added, “We also recognise that these are very challenging times for councils, doing their best to maintain vital services in the face of cuts passed on from Westminster and the budget settlement to local authorities from the Scottish Government.

Many pledge cards
All the signed pledge cards

 “We have called on the council to do all it can to protect the vital services that it provides to all its citizens,  particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, but we know that £28 million cannot be saved without it impacting on services to the public.

“Non-filling of vacancies and the ending of temporary contracts will put further pressure on already hard pressed staff and services will suffer. These are job cuts by any other name,” added Inez.

The branch has also warned that increased charges for services will hit the lowest paid and poorest citizens the hardest as they are the ones who tend to use council services the most and also have less disposable income.

The branch had also sent a briefing to all elected members earlier in the week.


19th November 2015

Branch welcomes protections for staff numbers and no privatisation and calls for better recognition for staff

Inez Teece
Inez Teece

Aberdeenshire UNISON has welcomed the council’s continuing commitment to avoid redundancies in favour of looking for further efficiencies alongside staff, residents and trade unions when the 2016/17 budget was discussed at full council on 19th November 2015.

See press release

Branch secretary, Inez Teece said, “We recognise that times are tough but as Aberdeenshire council has rightly recognised, staff are their most valuable resource and are often the ones who know best how to improve the services they provide to the citizens of Aberdeenshire”.

“We will be engaging fully in the planned consultation exercise and we will be encouraging our members to do the same”.

Inez added, “We are also pleased that there are no plans to privatise council services and that they have listened to UNISON and recognised that outsourcing is a short term fix which ends up costing councils more in the long run”.

“However staff need more than fine words. They need to be valued and supported to do their job and to provide the best possible services to their users. Where posts haven’t been filled they have taken up the slack often at cost to themselves. They need to be protected too with manageable workloads and good working environment”.



Aberdeenshire UNISON