Thousands of public sector workers marched through Edinburgh on Saturday 7 October calling for both the UK and Scottish Governments to scrap the public sector pay cap and pay a decent wage now.
“We are here for the many and not for the few” said Dave Prentis, UNISON’s General Secretary at the Scrap the Cap rally. ” It’s time to rise up and be counted and it’s time to throw austerity in the bin.”
Gordon Mackay, UNISON’s Senior Vice President asked why would a nurse be going to a foodbank- it’s quite simply because she’s not paid enough. Gordon went on to highlight the real terms cut in wages with many workers having £3,000 less spending power following ten years of frozen wages or capped increases. That’s a pay cut.
Another fantastic family fun day at New Lanark was held last Sunday 27 August. It was jam packed with fun activities for the kids.
There was a great variety of music from the Easkilbusbies, Mhairi, the Carmunnock Covers and Palmeros. At top of the bill we had the very talented Alastair McDonald, and Carol Laula accompanying her suceessful students from her song writing session Kay Mullen and Pam Fetters.
Scrap the Cap was the serious message from Gordon Mackay, UNISON’s senior vice president, highlighting the union’s promise to smash the public sector pay cap in the coming year… we are worth it and they can afford it.
In a bid to get communities and local people working together to resist further cuts to council services, South Lanarkshire UNISON is hosting a public meeting at 7pm onThursday 17 November in South Lanarkshire Council HQ, Almada Street, Hamilton.
Community groups and local residents are welcome to come along to hear about how the cuts affect the delivery of essential services to the community, and we will be looking for your views on how these cuts and increases in charges affect you as service users.
Stephen Smellie, the union’s Branch Secretary said, “Once again Scottish councils, including South Lanarkshire Council, are being forced to consider making significant cuts in council services due to the continuing cuts in budgets.
“As a public sector union UNISON recognises that, as well as cuts in jobs and the terms and conditions of our members, these cuts are having an impact on the services that are being delivered to the people in the area. Some services have been directly cut whilst others suffer from a poorer quality of services. Over the past few years charges for council services have increased with many people not able to afford these increases.
“We have engaged with the council in trying to mitigate some of the worst impacts of the cuts and will continue to do so. However we believe that a greater effort is needed to change the UK Government’s austerity policies and to demand greater investment in council services.
“We would like to hear from service users, parents, carers and others what the cuts have meant to them, their family and their community.”
South Lanarkshire UNISON invites UNISON members, their families and friends to the New Lanark Family Fun Day on Sunday 30 August 11am to 4pm.
There is plenty to see and do with music from Scottish folk singer Alastair McDonald, and acoustic blues rock ‘n hillbilly band 136. More acts to be confirmed.
For the kids there’s even more -with a bouncy castle, balloon modelling, facepainting and birds of prey – and that’s all free too!
And you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful setting than the World Heritage Site of New Lanark, where Robert Owen is well remembered some 200 years later for introducing workplace, social and educational reforms that benefitted the workers, their families and the Cotton Mills too. Find out more about New Lanark athttp://www.newlanark.org/
Getting there free!
Get there for free from Atholl House, East Kilbride at 10am and Beckford Street, Hamilton at 10.15am. Returns from New Lanark at 5pm. Book your places on the bus with the South Lanarkshire Branch Office on 01698 454225/4690.
South Lanarkshire UNISON joined the anti austerity protest at George Square on Saturday 20 June.
Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary, slammed austerity, “We know that austerity makes no economic sense, we know that its primary purpose is ideological.”
“It is intended to entrench the economic and political power of a self-interested privileged elite.”
On the UK Government’s plans to significantly restrict trade union freedom further including the introduction of a 50% threshold for strike ballots, Grahame said, “This has nothing to do with democracy or participation. No one should be in any doubt about our determination to resist.”
“As we have demonstrated throughout our history, the trade union movement is ready and willing to be a leading partner in a coalition of opposition to austerity and to these attacks on working people, their families and communities.”
Representing members working for South Lanarkshire Council, South Lanarkshire College and for other employers in the area