Unions lodge collective grievance over Glasgow Life cuts

It has been claimed the arms-length charity of the local authority did not consult trade unions over plans to scrap 500 posts.

Unions lodge collective grievance over Glasgow Life cuts IStockPhoto

Trade unions have lodged a formal collective grievance over potential job cuts at the body that runs museums, libraries and sporting facilities for Glasgow City Council.

Unison, GMB and Unite claimed Glasgow Life, an arms-length charity of the local authority, have not consulted trade unions over plans to scrap 500 posts.

They said workers they represent have not been provided “basic staffing information” setting out how jobs might be protected and claimed there was no “coherent plan” to reopen venues closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Brian Smith, Unison branch secretary, said: “We oppose all cuts to jobs and services. Glasgow needs more investment, not less.

“The trade unions are calling for a proper plan to secure the financial future of all current services and jobs. Glasgow’s councillors and MSPs need to do more.

“Implementing cuts and managing the city’s decline was not what they were elected to do. ”

Among the venues run by Glasgow Life are the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the Riverside Museum and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite industrial officer, accused the Scottish Government of underfunding local authorities.

She said: “The actions of the Scottish Government has real consequences for the livelihoods of thousands of workers in Glasgow and these cuts to services is a manifestation of their decisions.

“The city’s leisure and sport facilities, libraries and cultural venues are under immediate threat.

“We have called on the SNP Government, for more than a decade now, to change their policy of underfunding local authorities with Glasgow being consistently one of the most underfunded areas.

“We have warned for years this underfunding would lead to jobs losses, privatisation and closure but were accused of scaremongering.”

The unions said they are supporting a march and demonstration organised by the Glasgow Against Closures campaign due to take place on July 31.

A spokesman for Glasgow Life said: “We can confirm receipt of a collective grievance from Unison, GMB and Unite, and we will consider the matters raised through our formal grievance procedure.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We know how difficult it has been throughout the pandemic for organisations such as Glasgow Life which are at the forefront of improving the physical and mental wellbeing of the community. We recognise the huge importance of the role Glasgow Life performs.

“Glasgow City Council will receive a total funding package of almost £1.5bn to support local services, which includes an extra £29.8m to support vital day to day services, equivalent to an increase of 2.2 per cent compared to 2020-21.

“To date, the council has been allocated an additional £221.7m to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, through the local government settlement – over and above their regular grant payments.

“It is the responsibility of individual councils to manage their own budgets and to allocate the financial resources available to them on the basis of local needs and priorities.”

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