Strikes Move Step Closer Over Orkney Islands Council ‘Draconian’ Cuts Proposals
The prospect of strike action affecting local services across the Orkney Islands has increased after GMB Scotland members in Orkney Islands Council (OIC) overwhelmingly rejected plans to cut terms and conditions for front line service staff.
After a three week consultative ballot process, over 98 per cent of ballot papers returned opposed OIC’s proposals which considers the non-payment of the 1 per cent public sector pay rise, overtime bans, removal of shift allowances and reduced holiday entitlement.
OIC claim they must make a total of £9.5 million in savings over the next three years as a result of the Scottish Government’s on-going cuts to local government funding but workers say reductions in pay by as much as 10 per cent will significantly impact on local public service delivery.
GMB Scotland Organiser Liz Gordon said: “The council is proposing unacceptable, unfair and unsustainable levels of cuts to the pay of frontline workers across the Islands, it’s no wonder our members have rejected these draconian plans by such a huge majority.
Council representatives have given no thought to exploring alternative measures to alleviate the budget pressures imposed on them by the Scottish Government, despite holding significant financial reserves in their property portfolio and in their share of the oil fund.
The reality facing the council now is that unless they are prepared to rethink their position and meaningfully consult with trade unions and our members, we will move to an industrial action ballot and strikes affecting local services will be highly likely.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Liz Gordon on 07920 838588 or Peter Welsh, GMB Communications on 07976 447 077.