GMB calls for government intervention over “wrong-headed” cuts to community payback service
Workers in Glasgow City Council’s Community Payback Service have today (Wednesday 15 September) called on the Scottish Government to intervene over “wrong-headed” cuts proposals which could exacerbate Scotland’s prison overcrowding problem.
Plans tabled by service management to trade unions will target a reduction of 9 staff alongside a reduction in unpaid work placements across Glasgow from 384 to 255 per week – a rate which could amount to over 6,700 less placements a year.
Workers have also pressed management to come clean on the real reason for the cuts, amid unanswered questions concerning a service overspend using monies set aside for other council departments.
The Community Payback Service works in partnership with Criminal Justice Social Work Services (CJSWS) to deliver the unpaid work element of Community Payback Orders (CPOs), providing an alternative to a custodial sentence.
GMB Scotland Organiser Sean Baillie said: “In Scotland’s biggest city with the busiest court in Europe, the council is cutting the amount of community payback placements by thousands – it’s totally wrong-headed.
“This is a local cuts agenda that contradicts national justice policy and will significantly increase the burden on the public purse by filling prisons with people who could serve their sentences in the community.
“Compounding the confusion is the fact that a service overspend has been uncovered and management either can’t or won’t confirm how this was authorised, funded, or what other service budgets were affected by this?
“Serious questions remain unanswered and with consequences for finance, justice, and jobs, we’ve been left with little choice but to ask the Cabinet Secretary to intervene.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.