EIS statement on council austerity

Unions lash out at SNP cuts

Halfpenny Jim

By Jim Halfpenny

The Trade Union movement in West Dunbartonshire is under attack from a SNP Administration which presides over a population suffering from the greatest increase in deprivation in Scotland …  where more that a quarter of its children live in poverty.

And where life expectancy is significantly lower than the Scottish average and female life expectancy is the lowest in the country.

While successive council administrations have carried out Tory cuts and attacked local services year on year, the trade unions in West Dunbartonshire have consistently stood against them.

That is why this SNP administration and their leader Jonathan McColl need to reduce our voice.  So that theirs is the only voice … the voice of hypocrisy … the voice of deceit  … but most importantly, the voice of the highly paid management of West Dunbartonshire Council.

As part of the Joint Trade Unions, the EIS (Educational Institute of Scotland) says clearly that a cut to one post is a cut to all and that there will be no discussion on sharing facility time between the unions.

A mass united campaign by the Trade Unions alongside the community is needed, placing maximum political pressure on the SNP.

Already mass meetings of the workforce and now the public have begun. Momentum should be built quickly and a local demonstration should be organised. The STUC, must respond with active support.

The SNP council made a political choice to pass a £1 million pound cuts budget with the support of the Tories. This is not only an attack on the Trade Unions but on every resident in West Dunbartonshire.

We call on the SNP administration to set a “no cuts” budget.

A fighting “no cuts” budget would mean the use of all financial mechanism’s including reserves to halt the cuts and then launch a mass campaign to demand more funding from central government.
We also believe that it is possible to build a mass campaign to defeat the anti trade union attacks and cuts of this SNP council.

* Jim Halfpenny is Joint Secretary of West Dunbartonshire EIS

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