Socialist Worker

Scottish Borders Council - is this a price really worth paying?

Issue No. 2246

A deal at Scottish Borders Council should be a warning to trade unionists everywhere.

Workers in the Unite, Unison and GMB unions there have voted to accept a three-year pay freeze—in return for no compulsory redundancies.

The Scottish government wants to use this as a model to spread across the public sector in Scotland.

Senior Unite shop steward Eck Barclay called it “a sacrifice worth making if jobs are protected”.

But making sacrifices will only encourage the bosses to come back for more. It means £5 million of “savings” will be taken directly from the 6,000 workers’ pockets.

The agreement also offers no protection from large-scale voluntary redundancies, though it does raise about 600 low-paid workers onto a living wage.

Lib Dem deputy council leader Alec Nicol said he was “tickled pink” with the deal.

The cuts won’t stop until we fight back.

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Tue 5 Apr 2011, 18:23 BST
Issue No. 2246
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