29th February – 7th March 2016 Issue 170
Combating Austerity – well no one else is going to…
Public services are in for a rough old time. The decision of The Scottish Parliament to take the budget settlement given to them by George Osborne and not use the powers at their disposal to add a single penny, will ensure a ‘difficult’ year. Councils have planned thousands of jobs cuts, and other bodies will be doing similar. UNISON Scotland published a report ‘Combating Austerity’ that set out a number of ways the Scottish Government, councils and other public bodies could take action to reduce the impact of austerity in Scotland. While these actions won’t do away with austerity, they could save a lot of members jobs – Indeed some already have. For example with interest rates at an all time low, it may well be cheaper to buy out or refinance PPP / PFI contracts; pension funds could be a source of badly needed investment for infrastructure. We have built on that report to provide UNISON branches with a toolkit they can use to try and limit some of the damage that is bearing down on them at speed. It’s available online and we recommend it to everyone who, like ourselves feels that it’s more useful to try lighting a candle than ineffectually bemoaning the darkness.
Taking the High Road Debate
No, not the soap opera, the debate on the Economy Energy and Tourism Committee report on “Work, Wages and Wellbeing”. Although frankly the plotlines round Glendarroch were more plausible than the idea that cuts of hundreds of millions of pounds will have “a minimal impact” on jobs and services. Our contribution to the inquiry was mainly focussed on care services and how both standards and wages could be improved by action through procurement to ensure adoption of our Ethical Care charter. Our contribution here.
For those struggling to understand why councils are not happy with the Scottish Budget– read this.
PICK OF THE MEDIA
Another 2,000 jobs to go at Fife Council as “Fife Council faces the most difficult financial challenge in its history”
New report by TUC asseses of the impact of membership of the European Union on employment rights in the UK
Complicated?’ is the first UK wide research report to focus specifically on bisexual people’s experiences of accessing services. The report reveals some very shocking statistics and personal stories. But it also highlights examples of good practice and ideas for services about how they can be more inclusive for bisexual people.
Five reasons TTIP supporters are worried ….. (and others are hopeful).
23/02/16 thecourier.co.uk heraldscotland.co.uk
A new report shows the benefits to workers, employers and the economy of paid time off for union reps.
More reasons why Trade Unions are great for employees and the economy.
The reality of cuts to council funding and the council tax freeze.
It’s a small point to make in the face of potential nuclear holocaust but renewing Trident will be awfy expensive.
UNISON Week is produced by UNISON Scotland’s Bargaining and Campaigns Team. UNISON HOUSE, 14 West Campbell Street, Glasgow, G2 6RX
Tel: 0141 342 2811
Questions or comments? Email: UNISON Scotland Week