The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives teamed up before Christmas to vote through controversial new terms for staff, leading to the resignation of the SNP minority administratio
During a recent visit to East Dunbartonshire by the new Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, Craig Bell, chair of East Dunbartonshire Unison branch, hit out at the refusal of East Dunbartonshire Council to consult with trade unions.
According to Unison, the measure now poses “a real threat of compulsory redundancies.”
East Dunbartonshire MP and Deputy Leader of the Lib Dems Jo Swinson has backed the local Lib Dem councillors, claiming the SNP government’s funding decisions meant it was impossible to justify the redundancy packages which she said were more generous than those for other pubic sector worker
In response, Howard Wilkin, branch secretary of the GMB Union, said: “I find it quite astonishing that the member for parliament for the constituency has backed a decision to ignore a Liberal Democrat agreed policy to negotiate with the trade unions and, in doing so, display the sort of blatant disregard that Ms Swinson clearly has for the hard-working employees of East Dunbartonshire.
“This decision will now mean that the packages will not be as readily taken up by employees and as such, compulsory redundancy is a very real risk.
“I hope that Ms Swinson is therefore prepared to be held accountable by the people she was elected to represent when services are cut and unemployment in the area increases as a result of the action she has endorsed.
“Ms Swinson and her Lib Dem cohort will do well to remember that council employees are also voters.”
Mr Leonard met local residents and activists at Kirkintilloch Miners’ Club.
Also attending was Labour Councillor Alan Moir, who also spoke out against the cuts. and of the need to protect communities, services and jobs.