A big thanks to those of you who came along to UNISON's Public Works stalls in Gordon House on Wed 10th February and in Woodhill House on Thursday 11th Feb
This was your chance to add your voice to defend our public services and many of you did just that. Over 40 members signed a card speaking up for public services and some of you added your voice and your photo to the campaign . Click here for the photo gallery.
Many non-members took away application forms to join UNISON. All in all successful and worthwhile events.
UNISON branches across Scotland are being faced with cuts in funding, exacerbated in local government by artificial restraints on council tax levels. This is likely to get worse in future years.
UNISON has started the fightback now – with a twin-tracked campaign at Scottish and branch level engaging user groups and communities to lead successful opposition to cuts.
It kicked off with a rally after the meeting of Scottish Branches on on Feb 6 when Dave Prentis, General Secretary launched the fightback against cuts to public services. Dave criticised attempts to make public services pay for the banking crisis. "No school cleaner gambled billions on the stock exchange. None of them created this recession. Why should they be expected to pay for it?"
Dave urged Gordon Brown to learn from President Barack Obama's decision to stand up to American bankers. "Lets hear more about pay freezes for bankers," He said. "Lets hear Gordon calling for every last dime to be paid back to the taxpayer."
And he reserved particular criticism for David Cameron's Tories who, he said, hadn't changed. "They are calling for savage cuts - using the crisis to dismantle the welfare state. 20% cut in public expenditure over two years, but tax cuts for the rich - a world of haves and have nots."
The rally, was attended by around 400 UNISON delegates from branches all across Scotland, and invited guests from communities fighting cuts. It agreed to build towards a mass march and rally on Saturday 10th April in Glasgow. and agreed to make public spending a major campaign issue in the forthcoming General Election campaign.
"Public Works" Campaign
UNISON Scotland has launched its 'Public Works' campaign with the message that public service cuts will increase costs for ordinary families and will delay economic recovery. 'Public Works' is the Scottish arm of the union's 'Million Voices for Change' campaign. As a branch we need to play our part in getting the message over.
UNISON has warned that the headlong rush to cut and privatise public services will lead to delays in coming out of recession It has produced a leaflet demonstrating the importance of public services to everyone's lives and pointing to the huge costs that would fall on people if public services were not available.
Bob Revie, Branch Secretary, said "'A day in the life...' follows an average woman through her day and points out our dependence on public services - from water and sewerage, through environmental health and refuse collection, to education and health care. It points out that all of us rely on public services, not just the most vulnerable, for whom they can be a lifeline."
What can you do?
"We are asking you all to sign up individually to the "Million Voices" campaign at national level. We would also like you to tell us what you do in your job and why it is important. And tell us your own experiences of using public services - how they have supported you and your families."
Why public services are so important
Important for the economy
"Far from being the drain on the economy argued by those who created the economic crisis, the public sector contracts for supplies and services from the private sector - especially important when private industry faces reduced order books.
A just and fairer society