Campaigns News

Save our services and #PlugTheGap – Join our campaign to protect council services

Council workers have been absolutely key during this pandemic as  they have stepped up to go above and beyond to provide essential services, often to our most vulnerable citizens, and often at risk to themselves.

However those very services are under threat as council funding, already cut to the bone, looks to be hit even more, threatening jobs and the vital services these workers provide.

Clapping is not enough. We need the UK and Scottish governments to invest in public services and the workers who provide them. We are calling on our members to take action now. No one knows better than you do, how critical our services are.

UNISON is calling on the Scottish government to fund local councils properly to keep communities safe and rebuild the country ​following the pandemic.  We have launched a campaign to save our services, #PlugTheGap, to call on the Scottish government to find additional resources for Scotland’s councils to avoid devastating harm to services that have already suffered ten years of budget cuts.

Our governments must #plugthegap in funding. Please join our campaign to protect council services. You can see more at the UNISON Scotland campaign page

If you are a UNISON member please ask your MSP to demand that the Scottish government acts to protect essential council services

Write to your MSP using our automated email page –  Sign up to support our campaign, read the letter and if you agree, we can send it for you. Or edit the letter yourself and we will send it.

Join UNISON Scotland Question Time event on 12 November 

Join our live streamed event on Facebook on 12 November  – A discussion panel looking at the current state of Local Government finances and UNISON Scotland’s #PlugTheGap Campaign

The event will be broadcast live on Facebook Thursdsay, 12 November 2020 18:00 – 19:30 GMT

The discussion will include: Mark Ferguson, Chair of UNISON Scotland’s Local Government Committee; Cllr Gail MacGregor, COSLA Resources Spokesperson. And Cllr Jim Logue, Leader North Lanarkshire Council and Johanna Baxter, UNISON Scotland Head of Local Government

Inez Kirk, branch secretary, who is spearheading the Scottish Campaign said, “We estimate the financial gap facing local government in Scotland to be around £1bn. Things were bad before Covid but the demands of dealing with a pandemic means that things have only got worse.

“Our priority is to secure additional funding for Local Authorities across Scotland that will build a better future for all our members and ensure that the essential services that councils provide can be protected and developed.”

Kate Ramsden, branch co-chair added, “Whatever you do in Aberdeenshore council you are a key worker.

“Whether you are a home carer supporting older people and those with health problems, many of whom are isolated in their communities; a residential care worker caring for children, older people or those with a disability; a refuse worker keeping our communities and streets clean; a social work member, protecting vulnerable children and adults;

“Whether you keep roads free of potholes or help to bury those who have lost their lives; or in environmental health, ensuring premises are safe and healthy; or one of the engine-room staff, who keep all these services ticking over; or in one of the other key roles; every single council worker is absolutely essential to the delivery of our vital services.

“And important though council services are to our communities, they are even more important to our local economies. Austerity didn’t work and our communities and businesses all suffered. Now is the time to invest in council services for the benefit of all.”

Please do your bit now to save our services and to ensure they are properly funded.