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Joint Trade Unions Demand Job Security For City Of Edinburgh Council Workers

Friday, April 14, 2023

Joint Trade Unions Demand Job Security For City Of Edinburgh Council Workers

After the shambles of this year’s City of Edinburgh Council budget when councillors approved a budget including privatisation and compulsory redundancies, Edinburgh’s trade unions have joined together to demand better for the workforce and the community.

GMB, UNISON, and Unite represent most workers employed across the council including frontline services such as waste, care, parks and roads, and non-teaching staff in schools.

The unions have welcomed the council leader’s assurance that there is no intention of implementing the budget in full but say this is not enough and are calling on the Council to give workers security by resetting the budget and ruling out compulsory redundancies and privatisation.

The joint trade unions are asking the public to stand by the council workforce, by signing the public petition and writing to their councillors. (Links in notes below).

GMB Scotland organiser Kirsten Muat said:

“Scotland’s councils have been underfunded for decades, but it is unacceptable for the council to ask frontline workers to bear the brunt of the lack of political leadership on this issue.

“The workforce need to be given job security and that can only be achieved by political leaders putting their words into action and completely halting any privatisation or compulsory redundancies.

“Privatisation and redundancies are wrong and short-sighted and will never be in the public interest.”

UNISON branch secretary Tom Connolly said:

“We want all Edinburgh councillors to not only adopt the trade union pledge but also publicly endorse their commitment and outline how they will ensure our pledges are delivered. The public have a massive role to play here too and can help save services by using our campaign tools to write to elected officials and put pressure on them to deliver.

“The Edinburgh Council unions have continually warned over many years about the devastating impact of cuts to council budgets and the threat to democratic accountability but under the Tory Government at Westminster and the SNP/Green Government in Scotland, local government is under pressure as never before.

“For years now, council workers have been asked to deliver more with less. With the current council budget, that trend will continue, and things will continue to get worse."

Unite branch secretary Brian Robertson said:

“The council needs to provide security to its workers as insecurity for the workers not only causes stress to them and their families but also puts stress on the services they deliver. 

“Best Value reviews must examine in-house service delivery as a serious option.  Improving Services, Creating Jobs is the Best Value our council can give to our workers, citizens, families and communities. Doing otherwise is a disservice to our city.”


Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Kirsten Muat, 07785575475 or email

UNISON Branch Secretary:

Unite the Union branch Secretary

Notes to Editors:

Edinburgh City Council: Pledge for Public Services | Megaphone UK

Hundreds of frontline staff back industrial action against council privatisation and job cuts plan: