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Thu 29 April 2010

Attacks on staff pay and conditions spark strike action in Culture and Sport Glasgow

Glasgow’s major cultural and leisure trust, set up to attract extra private sector finance and provide increased service to the public, faces major disruption tomorrow (Friday) due to the first of a series of strikes by four separate unions that represent the Trust’s around 1600 staff. Culture and Sport Glasgow (CSG) runs libraries, museums and sports and leisure centres across Glasgow, on behalf of Glasgow City Council, and is proposing a series of attacks on staff conditions and pay since it was set up in 2008.

The staff are members of UNISON, Unite, the GMB and BECTU, all of whom have returned positive ballots for industrial action after the trust – cut 10% from the wages of almost 200 workers; declared a unilateral pay freeze for all other workers and cut public holidays and overtime rates.

Brian Smith, Branch Secretary for UNISON’s Glasgow City Branch – which has the largest single number of members in CSG said

“All the trade unions in CSG are united in their opposition to the attacks on their members pay and conditions. The trade unions have attempted to negotiate to persuade CSG not carry out these attacks. However workers have been left with no option other than to use strike action in an effort to defend their pay and conditions. Our members provide culture and sport services across Glasgow and recognise the wide disruption that strike action will cause.”

CSG was established as an “arms-length” Trust by Glasgow City Council as a tax scam; to draw in private money and to get grants from charitable trusts. It has failed to deliver on most of these. Ultimately the standard of service which the public will receive in their libraries, sports centres, museums and community centres will be affected if workers wages and conditions are cut.

The strikers are asking for public support by asking people to send protests to Bridget McConnell, CSG Chief Executive, and to Councillor Liz Cameron, Chair of the CSG Board. Messages of support to the strikers should be sent to enquiries@glasgowcityunison.co.uk or to the UNISON Branch, 18 Albion Street, G1 1LH


For Further Information Please Contact:
Brian Smith (Glasgow Branch Secretary)07870 914 361 (m) 0141 552 7069(o)
Sam Macartney (Glasgow Branch Service Conditions) 0780 3952 264(m)
Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)