Unite members employed by the City of Edinburgh council (CEC) have called on council leaders and elected representatives to work with them in exploring alternative budget proposals to offset the need for a potential 2,000 job losses by March 2016.
Representatives of the council’s joint trade union committee were told by CEC’s negotiating body, which includes chief executive Andrew Kerr, a no compulsory redundancy clause could be lifted as the council seeks to make £141 million worth of savings over the next three years.
Unite will put forward a number of alternative financing proposals to the negotiation body and councillors ahead of a meeting of the CEC Finance & Resource Committee on 29 October, including a call for political help to secure an amnesty on the Council’s repayment of pre-Scotland Act debts owed to the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB) - which could release up to £96 million into the council budget over a three year period.
Unite deputy Scottish secretary Mary Alexander said: “We are fast-approaching a critical juncture for the future of public sector services and employment across the CEC.
“What we are calling for is a genuinely collaborative effort to help ensure we still have sustainable services and jobs under public ownership, while avoiding the need for compulsory redundancies.
“We will be submitting a number of alternative proposals for the consideration of council officials and councillors, including the pursuit of an amnesty on the repayment of historical loans from the PWLB which date back to the early 1990s.
“There is no panacea to the long and difficult road ahead of us but it shouldn’t be beyond our capabilities to consider more sustainable models of budget delivery and service provision.”
For further information please contact Unite deputy Scottish secretary Mary Alexander on 07711 237075 or Peter Welsh, Unite Scotland Communications, on 07810 157931.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.