Glasgow council workers to strike over new conditions

Members of the GMB union at Glasgow City Council have voted to strike over changes to working arrangements, which they claim could cost each worker up to £500 per year.

The dispute was sparked by Glasgow City Council’s decision to cover six public holidays into annual leave, removing overtime rates which are crucial in helping workers avoid the low pay trap.

The union is yet to announce the the dates of the strike, although the action is likely to affect services such as cleaning, refuse, land and environment, bereavement services and social care.

Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland officer, said: “Our members are taking a stand to resist the threat of poverty pay and to fight for decent public services under public ownership for the next generation. It is the lowest paid across of the council who are bearing the brunt of the Scottish government's austerity agenda, with £130 million worth of cuts to the city's budget expected over the next two years.

“Yet instead of resisting these cuts or pursuing meaningful alternatives, the council leadership is rolling over on its hardworking staff at the coalface of service delivery and that is completely unacceptable.”

In response, councillor Martin Rhodes, the council's executive member for personnel, said: “The city is dealing with the worst cuts ever imposed by the Scottish Government and we recognise the impact they are having.

“We’ve been in continuous discussions with the union to explore ways we can work together to mitigate against these cuts. We’re willing to continue that dialogue and we would hope there would be no need to take industrial action.

“We have given staff a commitment to having no compulsory redundancies and our employees will continue to have some of the best terms and conditions anywhere. The real issue here is the chronic under-funding of the city by the Scottish Government. We are prepared to work with everyone to campaign for a fairer deal for Glasgow.”