Date: 16 August 2007
Edinburgh workers vote for strike against cuts and redundancies
Almost 8,000 UNISON members delivering services for the City of
Edinburgh Council have voted by over two to one to strike against
cuts and redundancies. The ballot result was announced and confirmed
by the union's national committee today (Thursday 16 August 2007).
Unless the union gets assurances that there will be no redundancies
and no extra pressures on staff due to cuts, the first strike will
be on 23 August 2007 to coincide with the council meeting that looks
set to vote through the cuts. A programme of selective action and
boycotts will follow.
"Council services are all about people. People use the services
and people deliver them. They are home helps, education and social
work staff, engineers, roadworkers, environmental health staff -
all the people who provide Edinburgh's services. You cannot make
cuts of up to £16 million without the threat of redundancies among
the people delivering those services", said George Lee, UNISON Edinburgh
"Even at this late stage, the council's own staff and their
union have been kept in the dark about what the cuts options are.
The only thing the council has been clear about is that it cannot
rule out redundancies", added Mr Lee.
"Many council staff are already under huge pressures to manage
services without the resources they need. They cannot take any more
and that is why our members have voted for action", added John Ross,
Edinburgh UNISON Service Conditions Convenor.
"This is not about waste or overspends, it is about unrealistic
budgets and staff struggling to maintain services. The big cuts
will come in Children & Families and Health & Social Care.
That means education, childrens services and the care of the elderly
and disabled. Many of these services have to be provided by law
and some of the options will not be able to be delivered, resulting
in huge cuts in other departments".
"It is time for the politicians to set budgets that match
need and time for the new Scottish Executive to deliver action on
services, backed by the proper funding, rather than just words",
added Mr Ross.
Information for editors: UNISON members working for the
City of Edinburgh Council were consulted in a secret postal ballot
from 1-15 August 2007. Despite the absence of many education staff
due to school holidays, there was 30% return. The result was as
In favour of action short of strike action 1,945 (84.4%), against
In favour of strike action 1,601 (70.8%), against 661 (29.2%)
George Lee, Branch Secretary 0131 220 5655 or 0781 731 5312
John Ross, Service Conditions Convenor, 0131 220 5655 or 0781 549
John Stevenson, Communications Officer, 07876 795 018