Unions serve notice of strike action on East Dunbartonshire Council

Unions have served formal notice on East Dunbartonshire Council and its offshoot East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust of four days of strike action over proposed cuts to workers’ terms and conditions.

UNISON members will take strike action on 21, 22, 25 and 26 June. UNISON has also served notice that from 2 July, its members will be involved in action short of strike action involving:

•    Not being available for ‘call out’.
•    Members working strictly to their job description/profile with no additional duties being carried out.
•    Not providing cover.
•    Not volunteering to do any overtime.

Simon Macfarlane, regional organiser for UNISON, said: “Having voted by 93% margin to take strike action, UNISON is implementing our members’ decision to stand up to the devastating cuts they are facing. Our members don’t want to take strike action but they have been left with no choice.

“These employees are struggling with the impact of needless austerity daily, they have suffered years of real-terms pay cuts and have stretched themselves physically and mentally to try and maintain vital services which have been cut to the bone. Yet, instead of praising them, the Lib Dem / Tory administration is attacking its own workers. These workers – most of whom are female and many low-paid part-time workers – deserve much better from their employer.

“There is still time for the council to avoid the massive disruption four days of strike action will cause to the residents of East Dunbartonshire, they should remove the cuts proposals entirely. They should be lobbying the UK and Scottish Government to secure improved funding and look to work constructively with the unions rather than attacking their own workers.”

Kenny Jordan, regional industrial organiser for Unite, said: “All three unions are reluctantly having to take the strike action, however, it shows our members determination that if cuts are being sought by this council they should not be attempting to steal it from the pockets of hard working employees, instead  they should be seeking funding elsewhere.”

Strike action will affect all services including schools.

Unite and GMB have also served notice of strike action on East Dunbartonshire Council on the same days.

Notes to Editors:

1. The cuts to terms and conditions arise out of the council’s decisions on 09/11/17 and 20/03/18 to make the following cuts to employee Terms and Conditions:

•    Removal of three days annual leave. Meaning less time off for members to spend with their family and friends – this is effectively a pay cut  and means staff work longer for the same money.
•   Increasing the notional working day (i.e. reducing time when unsocial hours’ premium payments apply – from 7am to 9pm to 6am to 11pm). Less pay for working unsocial hours to provide vital services. It is well known shift and night work has a detrimental impact on health, the council wants to cut what they pay for this work;
•    Removal of enhanced overtime from 1 April 2019. This reduces the earnings of those who work additional hours to keep services going – a kick in the teeth for employees who are in effect going the extra mile to support service delivery, and means yet more money out of workers’ pockets;
•    Cut Redundancy Payments Framework (from up to 10 added years to 3, potentially 66 weeks redundancy pay to 30 weeks and introduce a two year claw back). This poorer offer means less people will volunteer, therefore making compulsory redundancies more likely.

2. There will be a lobby of the council from 5pm on 21st June – there is a full Council meeting that evening at 6pm. The joint trade unions expect hundreds of striking members to turn up.

For further information please contact: Simon Macfarlane, UNISON’s regional organiser, on 07703 194 132