Members of Aberdeenshire UNISON delivered a Valentine Card to councillors arriving for the Budget meeting at Woodhill House this morning, Thursday 14th February.
The verse in the card reads, “Roses are red, Violets are blue, We love our council services, The crucial work we do. So show how much you love us too, Please – no ifs, no buts, Protect your staff and services, And say no more to cuts.”
The branch is warning that proposals which could see up to another 150 post from the council will have a disastrous impact on staff and services.
Kate Ramsden, Branch co-chair said, “This will have far reaching effects on existing staff that are already struggling to carry out their duties in the time that they are paid, because of salami slicing over the past 8 years and will inevitably have a knock on effect on services.”
Kate added, “Many of our members are already reporting high levels of stress due to workload and rising demands from the public, due to the effects of the Westminster government’s austerity policies, which have seen a huge rise in the use of foodbanks and increasing demands on all council services.
Inez kirk, Branch Secretary added that one effect is that members are increasingly reporting even tighter restrictions and monitoring of absence. This has seen staff going into work when it is clear they should be at home, passing on infections to colleagues and service users which creates further problems for all.
“This is a perfect storm of more work, more demands and a rise in personal and work-related stress. Something will have to give,” warned Inez.
Inez called on the council to maintain its commitment to no compulsory redundancies to show they value their staff.
She added that the branch recognises the difficult financial position of the council in setting a balanced budget for the coming year but is very worried about the impact on staff and the resultant impact on the people of Aberdeenshire.
“It is time to value council services and staff – it is time to say enough is enough,” said Inez.