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Date: 31 January 2008

Main Argyll & Bute union moves to three days strike

Over 1500 Argyll & Bute Council staff are to strike for three days next week in the continuing dispute over the council's attempts to tear up agreements and impose cuts to staff conditions, UNISON, the union representing most Argyll & Bute council staff, said today.

The union has called the action, following the failure of the Council to try and resolve the dispute, despite two earlier rounds of action by members who withdrew standby services, and took selective strike action. Despite this, the union remains ready to negotiate, and is surprised that the Council would rather waste resources, including Council Tax payers' money, in allowing the dispute to continue.

Donald Brown, UNISON's branch chairperson said: "UNISON members are angry both at the failure of the Council to honour agreements, and at the misrepresentation by their spokespeople in the media. Members are acting responsibly, both in defending their own conditions, and in defending the communities they serve."

The strike is to take place over the 5-7 February, and will affect services across the Council - closing offices and shutting down key transport links such as the Gourock-Dunoon Ferry (which docks at the Council staffed Dunoon Pier).

The action will also affect schools, home care services, libraries, roads maintenance, and many other key services in local communities. UNISON has agreed to exemptions covering Ferry Services, Piers, and the Standby Service for Winter Maintenance (gritting of roads, etc.) where the emergency services (e.g. Police, Fire, Ambulance, Medical) make a specific request.

There will be a major rally on the 7 February in the Queen's Hall, Dunoon at 12 noon. Strike action is also being taken by UNITE members in the Council on the same days.


For further details etc. please contact: Donald Brown, Branch Chairperson, Mobile Tel. No. 07770 308062. or Duncan Dewar, Communications Officer, Mobile Tel. No. 07717 686442.

Notes to Editors Single Status is a national agreement at Scottish level to harmonise conditions of service and address pay equality issues between different categories of local government employees. It provides a framework, with many key details to be agreed (or in some cases imposed) at local level. The Argyll and Bute Branch are working to achieve a fair local settlement for our members, in the face of Argyll and Bute Council's failure to enter into constructive negotiations, and attempts to impose its proposals to the detriment of all employees.