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Date: Thurs 18 February 2010

Accounts Commission report 'misses the point' - UNISON

Commenting on today's report from the Accounts Commission on Scottish Local Government, Dougie Black, UNISON's regional organizer and lead negotiator for local council workers said: "It is disappointing that the Accounts Commission seem to have missed the point again.

"Shared services cost money in the short term, they don't save it; cuts to so-called 'back room' service just mean hauling front line workers away from service delivery to cover background work; and 'alternative delivery' means either expensive profit-driven private provision or services provided on the cheap by cutting resources, training, pay and conditions.

"The real question is - why do bodies like the Accounts Commission not talk to the people who use these services - all of us - the people of Scotland. We didn't cause the recession, we didn't drain the public coffers of money to prop up the banks - why should our services pay for that when the bankers who are responsible are still awarding themselves huge bonuses?

"Local Government is already facing cuts of over 300m, and job losses of 3,500 plus. That is why UNISON is running its Public Works campaign, is contacting local communities who depend on these services, and organising a 'Stop the Cuts, March and Rally' in Glasgow on April 10, as the next stage in that campaign."

ENDS

Note for editors: Details on UNISON's Public Works Campaign are available on http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/publicworks/

UNISON's Alternative Budget can be found at http://www.unison.org.uk/million/resources/Alternative_Budget.pdf

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