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10 February 2010

No council worker gambled millions on the stock exchange. Why should they have to pay the price of cuts in Edinburgh? - UNISON

UNISON members who deliver Edinburgh's services will lobby the Council meeting from 08.30 till 10.00 on Thursday 11 February against service cuts, outsourcing and cuts in jobs and conditions.

"We are asking service users, community groups and the Edinburgh public to stand with us and fight for Edinburgh's services and Edinburgh's jobs", said John Stevenson, UNISON Edinburgh Branch President.Members who are off-shift, on leave or taking flexitime will represent the 9,000 strong UNISON branch at the lobby. UNISON officers will make submission to the Council.

"Edinburgh's services face a bleak - and possible irreversible - future as they are cut to the bone or sold off to the lowest bidder with the lowest quality services. Meanwhile Edinburgh jobs will be lost. Those that are left will be hit by new pay and conditions being imposed, meaning many lower paid staff will lose out", added Mr Stevenson.

On Saturday 6 February, UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis told a UNISON Scotland 'Public Works' rally, "No school cleaner gambled billions on the stock exchange - No home carer, no social worker, no librarian. None of them created this recession. Why should they be expected to pay for it?"

Following that theme UNISON Edinburgh lead negotiator Kevin Duguid said, "These services are provided by people. People like home helps, social workers, road workers, environmental staff and workers in trading standards, education, early years and public safety. Some will be cut and some - like home helps - sold off to the lowest bidder paying even lower rates so they can take our taxes as profit. Cut the people and you cut the services, it is that simple".

And he warned that the cuts would affect the whole local economy. "Service cuts will affect local contractors and suppliers. The only people to benefit from privatisation will be big conglomerates, taking Edinburgh money out of Edinburgh".

UNISON is calling on the Scottish Government to abandon the concordat, make funds available to build out of the recession and keep public services public.

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