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Glasgow City Council yesterday told 300 striking library workers to return to work or face dismissal. ...
Glasgow City Council yesterday told 300 striking library workers to return to work or face dismissal.

The Scotsman (p10) reports that new contracts were sent out to staff setting out what the council says are improved terms and conditions. But at the same time, the workers were put on 90-day notice.

Senior officials have made clear that staff who refused to sign by a 24 June deadline would face losing their jobs.

However, the ultimatum met with a furious response from Unison, which accused the council of being 'hell bent on slashing the conditions of workers'.

Meanwhile, The Herald's editorial (p18) welcomes the council's plans, since they amount to 'a commitment to expand an essential service that, as a result of budget cuts, has been in retrenchment for many years'.

The paper says that it might appear strange that a Labour-controlled council has lost patience with Unison and embarked on such a draconian course of action. 'But it is difficult not to sympathise'.

There is evidence to show that restricted opening hours have accelerated the decline in use. The service needs to become much more flexible, it says.

The report that preceded the council blueprint identified poor staff morale. The effective imposition of new working conditions that are not liked by local union representatives is hardly likely to improve matters.

The training and development of staff has been neglected. A commitment to invest heavily in staff development for the new library era would surely boost morale, it concludes.

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