Council’s furlough schemes must not be a ‘waiting room for redundancy’

Councils across Scotland have announced today (Wednesday 10 June) that they have applied to the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme to fund their staff through the furlough scheme.

Johanna Baxter, UNISON Scotland head of local government said: “The fact that Scottish councils are having to apply for funding from the Westminster furlough scheme is a damning indictment of the Scottish Government’s under-funding of local government and demonstrates how cash-strapped they are.

The Scottish Government need to address the shortfall in local government finance as a matter of urgency to protect jobs and services going forward. UNISON are absolutely clear that furlough cannot be a waiting room for redundancies.

Council services are needed more than ever and council staff have been heroic during COVID 19 pandemic caring for our most vulnerable people, looking after the children of key workers, housing rough sleepers and collecting our refuse. Investment in public services is the lesson of this pandemic.”

1. Councils that have furloughed staff include: Edinburgh City, North Lanarkshire, West Dumbartonshire, Dundee and Fife.

2. Today (Wednesday 10 June) is the final date that businesses and organisations can apply to place staff on the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

3. UNISON is the largest trade union in local government and the largest trade union in Scotland.

4. UNISON is campaigning for local government: Fighting Together Today For A Better Future Tomorrow

UNISON Contacts
Johanna Baxter: 07817 120894
Danny Phillips / Trisha Hamilton: 07944 664110 / 07903 853054