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GMB Scotland to ballot Glasgow council workers for strike action
GMB Scotland members across Glasgow City Council are being balloted for industrial action over changes to working time arrangements that could cost workers up to £500 a year. A strike ballot of over 1,500 members employed across key services such as cleansing, refuse, land and environment and social care will run from Friday 29th April to Thursday 19th May.
The dispute has been prompted by GCC's decision to convert six public holidays into annual leave, removing the ability of staff to work hours on overtime rates of pay which have been crucial in helping thousands of workers avoid the low pay trap.
"Our members are saying enough is enough to council cuts and we are campaigning to defend incomes, livelihoods and the vital public services the people of Glasgow rely on every day," says Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland Officer. "It is the low paid of the council who are bearing the brunt of John Swinney's austerity agenda with £130 million worth of cuts to the city's budget expected over the next two years. "Yet instead of resisting these cuts or pursuing meaningful alternatives, the council is rolling over on its hard-working staff at the coalface of service delivery and that is unacceptable.
"Our members are taking a stand to resist the threat of in-work poverty and to fight for decent public services under public ownership for the next generation." GMB Scotland brought forward the industrial action ballot after Glasgow City Council served employees a 90 day notice period of changes to terms of employment. GMB Scotland estimates that the cost of contract changes will amount to as much as £500 per year for workers, many of whom are already struggling after years of pay freezes and below inflation pay rises. One of the changes will end council workers' right to bank holidays, incorporating them into annual leave resulting in cut payments for those who work on bank holidays and problems with child care for thousands of council employees.
Alex McLuckie, GMB Scotland senior organiser, says: "Council workers have seen their living standards decimated by years of pay freezes and increases that haven't kept pace with the cost of living. "The issuing of the 90 days' notice means the council has now declared war on low paid workers who are already struggling after years of cuts to jobs and services.
28th April 2016