Sign the petition calling for proper Council funding

The Scottish Government has cut funding to Scottish councils year on year for the past decade. Edinburgh has endured £250m of budget cuts in the last five years. In 2019/20, it will face £41 million of cuts, with a predicted £106 million of cuts in the following three years. Jobs and services have been lost and continue to be cut.

The Westminster Government have cut the funding to the Scottish budget by 1.65% since 2013, but the funding the Scottish government gives to Scottish councils has fallen by 6.92% since 2013. This means that Scottish councils have taken the brunt of austerity cuts in the Scottish public sector.

We call on the Scottish Government and all opposition parties to

  • look urgently at the damaging impact of spending reductions
  • work together to increase funding to Councils.

Sign the petition

Council budget consultation 2018/19

We recommend that you complete and submit your views on the council’s current budget consultation. Read about the impacts of the current proposals and our recommendations for when submitting the consultation below.

Complete the budget consultation online

You can also submit the paper booklet, which is available from any council office or library.

The consultation closes on 19 December 2017.

Our branch committee has examined the council’s budget proposals and is in the process of producing a formal response.

Council’s proposals

The council’s  proposals, if carried, will see the loss of a further 80 to 100 posts in 2018. They will also see the removal or massive reduction of several council services:

  • The Sign Workshop will close, 6 jobs may be lost
  • Night Noise Team to disband, 6 jobs at risk
  • Early Years Services to lose a massive £885,000 and more than 25 posts
  • Disability Day Services to lose £650,000 and up to 20 posts
  • Strategy and Insight to lose around 20 posts and £1 million from its budget
  • Waste Collection will lose 36 jobs—12% of workforce—and half a million pounds
  • Economic Development will lose £1 million—10% of budget—over the next 3 years. Inevitably, staff, knowledge and skills will leave the council
  • Community Recycling Centres will lose 6 posts and have changes to working conditions imposed on staff in a bid to cut £200,000 from the budget.

Cuts, not savings

Most other council services will be adversely affected by this budget and there is, as yet, no sign of how the £3 to £4 million gap in Adult Social Care might be dealt with.

We have already gone through 2 years of transformation and lost around 2,000 valued colleagues and their skills, knowledge and experience. The new cycle of transformation has already started with Executive Support, Strategy and Insight and Democratic Services being re-reviewed despite their reviews concluding less than 1 and a half years ago.

The view of the branch committee is that our public service and the workforce that delivers it can no longer sustain these cuts. Absence due to stress is at an all time high in our council as we battle wearily to deliver much-depleted services to our fellow citizens. The workforce can’t take it and the services are crumbling.

Take action

We believe that the only way to save our services, our jobs and our health is to take considered, collective action.

We believe you joined Unite because this union has a strong record of fighting against injustice. These cuts —along with those of the past few years and the tripling of these over the next two years—are the biggest injustice our council, our workforce and the citizens of our city have experienced in decades.

We urge you to take part in the budget consultation and suggest you include, as part of your submission, the following:

    • There should be no compulsory redundancies
    • There should be no job cuts
    • There should be no service cuts
    • The council must take measures to reduce stress in the workplace
    • The council must take measures to alleviate the problems of de-skilling of the workforce caused by the reductions in headcount that have occurred in the past two years
    • The council should work with other councils, COSLA and the Scottish and UK Governments to create a fairer local government financing system that includes:
      • a Tourism Levy
      • debt interest amnesty or reduction from the Public Works and Loans Board (PWLB)
      • workplace parking levy
      • supermarket levy
      • a fairer local taxation mechanism
      • a Revenue Support Grant from the Scottish Government that fully recognises the needs of the council and its citizens.
    • any workplace issues you may have faced or witnessed
    • any issues you feel strongly about as a citizen of, or worker in, Edinburgh.

Thank you for your support

Brian Robertson
Unite CEC Branch Secretary

If you have any other suggestions for responses to the budget consultation, let us know in the comments below!