Privatisation Of Historic Dundee Golf Courses Confirmed - GMB Asks, ‘What’s Next?’
GMB Scotland has today (Thursday 2 March) warned that the privatisation of Dundee’s historic Caird Park and Camperdown golf courses could be the first in number of local council services to be stripped away from public ownership.
Worried staff and their trade union representatives have been pursuing clarity from the courses’ current operators, Dundee City Council arm’s length organisation Leisure and Culture Dundee (LACD), for a number of months now after a process of market testing was confirmed late last year.
However, efforts to get transparency were stonewalled and now seven green keepers with a combined service to the city of over two-hundred years will be transferred to new owners I D Verde when the takeover is finalised.
GMB is now calling on Dundee Council leader Ken Guild to intervene and stop the private sell-off in order to keep the courses in public hands and protect the green keepers terms and conditions of employment.
GMB Scotland Organiser Helen Meldrum said: "If LACD can privatise these seven jobs then where will it stop and who will be next in line for the sell-off of our local services this privatisation should concern anyone in Dundee who wants public services in public hands.
Our members have campaigned hard right up to the very last minute to stop this from happening, offering to make further changes to working practices and never once asking well-paid management to share in the sacrifice themselves.
Let’s be clear that it’s the seven green keepers who are carrying the can for declining revenues and underinvestment in the courses, with their terms, conditions and futures at the mercy of the market while management remain in the public sector.
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Drew Duffy added: “The dedication and loyalty of our members has been worth nothing to LACD and quite frankly, they have been treated with utter contempt throughout this process.
Caird Park and Camperdown used to rank among the busiest golf courses in Europe, our members have ensured that generations of golfers enjoyed a great sporting experience, but this managed decline is just another example of Scotland’s austerity shame.
We will now consult with our members across LACD and decide our next steps to try and protect these jobs under public ownership and that could include industrial action if necessary.”