The supposedly “anti-austerity” Scottish National Party (SNP) is slashing £500 million from Scottish council budgets this year. The Scottish government’s budget was set to be finalised in Holyrood this week, signalling the start of another round of severe local government cuts.
SNP finance minister John Swinney claims his funding cut will have a “minimal impact on jobs or services”.
But one Glasgow City Council Unison union rep told Socialist Worker, “The scale of the cuts we face is going to be the worst ever.
“We’ll see an increase in the intensity of workloads that will lead to a worse service and also increase the levels of sickness absence.”
Some 15,000 local government jobs are threatened, on top of the 40,000 already gone under the SNP.
Workers face an insecure future at 14 of the 32 local authorities that have not ruled out compulsory redundancies.
Dundee’s SNP council is axing 200 jobs and £23 million over the next two years.
It plans to hike charges for car parking, social care and leisure services. Garden maintenance, domestic waste recycling, roads and street lighting and family services face cuts.
Labour-run Glasgow City Council, Scotland’s largest local authority, plans to axe 3,000 jobs and make cuts of £133 million.
But the union rep said that attempts to attack workers’ conditions have “stirred up a hornet’s nest”.
“People feel that management are taking the piss and they’ve had enough,” they said. “We’ve had dozens of workplace meetings recently, some 40 or 50-strong, there is something going on.
“We need our unions to start fighting back.”