Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

EDINBURGH TO BALLOT ON STRIKES

  • Comment
Unison is to ballot its 10,500 Edinburgh City Council members on strike action in protest at cuts in conditions. ...
Unison is to ballot its 10,500 Edinburgh City Council members on strike action in protest at cuts in conditions.

The move was criticised by personnel officer Gerry Forbes as precipitate. 'What they should have done is to come back to me and discussed ways of resolving the problem. I feel they have run far too quickly to their members and sought a mandate for strike action.'

The dispute arose after the council proposed a 36 and a quarter hour working week for all employees. This was the first and most important step in harmonising conditions between former Lothian RC and Edinburgh DC employees, Mr Forbes said. It involved former district staff working an extra hour and a quarter.

But Unison branch secretary John Stevenson has accused the council of adopting a confrontational approach: 'It is treating the workforce with no respect and pushing through cuts in conditions without any real consultation.'

The union is also protesting at a council decision to end a long-standing insurance policy which provided death benefits.

Mr Forbes said this was a cost-cutting measure which would save £45,000 a year. Local Authority Pension Scheme death benefits had also recently been doubled, he said.

Mr Stevenson said: 'We know the council is facing serious financial difficulties and we have offered to sit down, look at the figures and discuss ways of dealing with them. The council's immediate and cynical response has been to use the issue to threaten staff and their conditions.'

Mr Stevenson told an emergency branch meeting this week, set up to cull opinion on strike guidance, that he was disappointed to have to take matters so far.

Members voted in favour of mounting an official ballot on a series of one-day strikes, along with selective action by groups of workers.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.