Campaigns News

Leisure and Culture Trust Update UNISON – working to protect members and services

As Aberdeenshire Council continues to explore the proposal to move its sport, culture and leisure services out to a trust, UNISON continues to be involved in all working groups and project board looking at this option.

Here Branch Secretary, Inez Kirk gives an update on the branch’s work to ensure our members feed into this process.

“UNISON has met with our members during a series of meetings during September and the feedback we have received continues to form our negotiating strategy.

We have been seeking:

  • trade union recognition in the new trust
  • a non voting trade union advisor to the board
  • a sign-up of the trust to the SJC (Scottish Joint Council)
  • terms and conditions to maintain parity with colleagues remaining within the Council.
Inez Kirk
Inez Kirk

So far, the Council has agreed to trade union recognition; the others we continue to discuss.

The one big issue that has affected many people’s view on whether they would be happy to move to a trust or not is the Barclay Report.  This is a report published late summer that indicated grounds for the removal of non domestic rates relief to trusts similar to the one being proposed.

If the Scottish Government were to action these recommendations, then the proposals for the trust are not likely to save money and could, infact, cost the council more.

Obviously work continues with plans to be put before full council in November.

The Scottish Government does not make their budget announcements and allocations until mid December.

It is clear that UNISON needs to continue our work to protect the best interests of our members and the vital health and wellbeing services they provide.”