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Date: Monday, 4 October 2010

RELEASE FROM SOUTH LANARKSHIRE JOINT TRADE UNION COUNCIL

Unions call on South Lanarkshire to stick to pledge to avoid compulsory redundancies

South Lanarkshire Joint Trade Union Council has reacted to South Lanarkshire Council's cuts proposals by insisting that the Council stick to the commitment given to staff to avoid compulsory redundancies and to minimise cuts to services.

Andy Murphy, Chair of JTUC said "This is what David Cameron, George Osbourne and Nick Clegg see as the future of the people of South Lanarkshire. Big cuts in education, big reductions in services to older people, big numbers of people losing their jobs. I guess this is what they meant by a big society. We don't think this is necessary. There are alternatives but the ConDem government are ideologically attacking the public sector. This will have a knock on effect on the local economy and jobs will be lost in the private sector as well as within the Council"

The Council have indicated that they need at least 80m of cuts over the next 3 years and the Executive Director of Finance has produced proposals totalling 118m to allow Councillors to prioritise which cuts they prefer.

Stephen Smellie, UNISON Branch Secretary said, "The options presented are horrendous and even if they avoid the worst there is no doubt that young kids, disabled people and older people will suffer drastic cuts in services. Amongst the workforce somewhere between 1500 and 2000 jobs are likely to be lost with low paid workers like classroom assistants, day care workers, cleaners, catering and lollipop men and women all under particular threat. We will be meeting Council bosses over the next few weeks and we will be calling on them to guarantee that there will be no compulsory redundancies amongst staff."

However Andy Murphy also said "We will be calling on all the Councillors to join us in a campaign to change the Government policy which forces Councils to make these cuts. They can do that by joining us in Edinburgh on 23 October on the STUC's demonstration. They can even get a lift on our bus and we can discuss the issues on the way."

ENDS

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