Unions suspend joint working because of Liberal Democrats

UNISON, GMB and Unite trade unions have today written to the leader and chief executive of East Dunbartonshire Council suspending partnership working following the council unilaterally cutting voluntary redundancy terms. Partnership working is the model of industrial relations that has been in place in East Dunbartonshire Council for many years. It involves unions and management seeking to work together to resolve issues.

On the 9th of November Liberal Democrat and Tory councillors, behind closed doors, voted to defeat the SNP administration and Labour councillors to slash the terms of the council’s voluntary severance arrangements. There is no entitlement for staff to go on voluntary severance, it is used to facilitate restructures and to avoid compulsory redundancies.

Speaking today Simon Macfarlane, UNISON regional organiser, said: “The Lib Dems have been trying to detoxify their brand following their coalition with the Tories at a UK level. A coalition which ushered in the needless austerity we are all suffering from. Lib Dem councillors in East Dunbartonshire have trashed that by colluding with the Tories to rip up industrial relations in the council. They have shown complete contempt for council workers and their trade unions. We are calling on the local MP Jo Swinson who is deputy leader of her party and Willie Rennie the Scottish leader to intervene and get this decision reversed.”

Note to editors

Simon Macfarlane 07703 194132