Date:Mon 22 September 2008
Last month's council service disruption to be repeated on Wednesday
UNISON, Scotland's largest Council union, said today that the day's
strike on Wednesday (24 September)is to go ahead and is likely to
involve the same numbers as the last strike on 20 August.
That strike saw massive disruption to local services and prompted
employers to offer further talks and 'to look to a settlement which
takes account of the rise' (letter from CoSLA) in inflation since
their first offer. The failure of the employers to improve their
offer at that meeting - whether this was because of duplicitous
reneging on public commitments OR internal inability to agree -
led directly to this further action from the three unions involved
in the action (UNISON, GMB and Unite).
The action on Wednesday will affect council services across Scotland,
and will disrupt schools, nurseries and community education, social
work services, cleansing and environmental health, housing, planning,
roads and transport - including some ferry services in Argyll and
the Highlands - registry services, parks, leisure and recreation,
libraries and museums, halls and theatres and many more.
Dougie Black, UNISON Scotland Regional Officer and Secretary to
the joint trade union negotiating team said, "The action on Wednesday
will send a very clear message to the employers. Your failure to
improve your offer after making public commitments to do so has
angered your staff. Taking further industrial action is regrettable,
but we have no alternative given the employers' behaviour over this."
A major demonstration will take place in Edinburgh, with a rally
at 1.00pm at the Ross bandstand at Princes Street Gardens. Speaking
will be UNISON's Deputy General Secretary, Keith Sonnet, And Angela
Nicoll, a low paid nursery nurse from West Dunbartonshire. There
will also be speakers from the GMB and Unite.
Whilst this will be the main focus, other rallies will take place
in parts of Scotland where members would have difficulty attending
Edinnburgh. Rallies will take place in Aberdeen, with UNISON's Scottish
Organiser John Keggie, and Aberdeenshire home care worker, Alison
Law speaking, Dumfries - speakers Dave Watson (UNISON); Councillor
Archie Dryburgh and Ann Patterson (Unite), Dundee and Inverness.
Details of these events are on the UNISON strike day page http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/localgovt/pay2008/strikeday.html
UNISON has expressed concern that A number of councils plan to
open schools that were closed last month, suggesting that untrained
staff can cover fire safety and health and safety, that no lunches
or no hot lunches will be provided - even where children get free
school lunches, that pupils as young as five will be drafted in
to keep schools clean, and that they propose to abandon procedures
to warn parents if pupils fail to arrive, or to enable parents to
contact the school.
Tracey Dalling, UNISON's Regional Organiser for local government
said "It is extremely worrying that some councils seem to be prepared
to risk our kids' safety in order to try and claim some kind of
one-upmanship over their striking staff. We have asked all our local
government branches to ask for the risk assessments for the individual
schools that they propose to open. Strangely enough we haven't received
too many, indeed we do know that some councils have not even completed
them but are still saying that schools will be open!"
For Further Information Please Contact: Dougie Black (Regional
Organiser) - 07958 121 851 Tracey Dalling (Regional Organiser) -
07904 341 989(m) Glyn Hawker (Scottish Organiser) - 07876 441 237
(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) - 07715 583 729 (m)