THE Labour-run authority sent letters to their staff requesting they accept a pay cut and an extra hour's work a week or face redundancy in November.
A LABOUR-RUN council have been accused of acting like “bullies” after threatening to sack all staff unless they agree to poorer pay and conditions.
Stirling Council workers staged a one-day strike yesterday after the local authority tried to scare them into taking a pay cut and working a longer week.
The council, run by a Labour–Tory coalition, have proposed a 0.5 per cent pay cut across the board and an additional hour of work per week.
But Unison say it’s a 1.5 per cent pay cut compared to council staff in the rest of Scotland, who narrowly accepted a one per cent pay rise.
And they say the extra hours add up to 7.5 days of work a year – meaning workers have to swallow an effective pay cut of 4.5 per cent.
Last week, staff were sent a letter by chief executive Bob Jack demanding they accept the new pay and conditions or find a job elsewhere.
The letter, sent to all 3000 employees, said: “If you do not accept the council’s offer of employment under the enclosed statement of particulars, the council gives you formal notice that your employment will terminate with effect from November 15, 2013.”
The council claim that 40 per cent of staff have signed the forms.
Unison Stirling branch secretary James Douglas said he was consulting lawyers about whether the move was legal.
He added: “In my view, this is bullying and harassment trying to intimidate people to sign up. Some people have accepted the terms and they have told me they did that because they were frightened.
“I have been a Labour member all my life and to see the party involved in this type of practice is disappointing to say the least.”
Labour and the Conservatives took control of the council last year, despite the SNP being the largest overall party.
When the Record attempted to contact the Labour leader of the council, Johanna Boyd, Stirling Council’s press office released a statement in the name of chief executive Jack.
He said that because of a cut in funding in real terms from the Scottish Government, along with a council tax freeze, the authority need to find savings of £24 million to balance their budget and the changes would save £2.5million.
Jack demanded proof from the unions that their members had been bullied into signing but had received nothing.
Employees on the two lowest grades, he added, would see an increase in pay following the implementation of the Living Wage at £7.50 an hour.
The SNP’s Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford said: “With only four Tory councillors, it’s clear this coalition is Labour doing their dirty work for them, abandoning all principles the party once had.”
Scots Labour leader Johann Lamont declined to comment. A party spokesman blamed “an underfunded SNP council tax freeze”.
He added: “They took Tory cuts, doubled them and passed them to councils.”
Got any figures to prove that Mr or Ms annon party spokesman? Took the cuts and doubled them? Come on, explain where that calculation comes form?
Maybe if the council had tried cutting out some of the fringes...the celebrations, free bars, etc. it would have done better.
We take the Tory cuts, you thicko, because there is no choice. They don't negotiate cuts with us; they enforce them upon us. We are trying to keep tax down on people who simply cannot afford to pay it. If councils act responsibly they CAN manage. They simply have to cut out the frills. There are no frills under the Tories. Get rid of the cars, the expenses, the fat salaries at the top, the first class travel...
As for Ms Lamont not being available for comment, isn't it high time she was? Has Ed told her to stay hidden lest she say something vaguely socialist, that might damage his chances with the south east voters?
In my opinion she should encourage the workers to go on strike. It's legitimate, it seems to me. With inflation for essentials at over 10%, a 4%+ drop in wages is an outrage. To hell with Stirling Council ,guys. Strike. And yes, I'd say that if it were an SNP council too.