Unite pressure gets reprieve for fixed term library workers

Towards the end of September the City of Edinburgh Council was working on issuing 1 week’s notice of termination of contract to 39 library workers on fixed term contracts as a means of reducing costs whilst taking forward the plan to re-open some libraries early October.

Unite CEC branch found out about these proposals with only a few days to go before notices were to be issued. Calling it “an absolute disgrace” branch officials determined that, whilst legal, it would be “an outrage against common decency” were these workers (many of whom had been in the council and Unite several years) to lose their jobs and set to work.

After a flurry of emails, texts, phone calls, lobbying and speedily arranged zoom meetings the council was content to delay termination until January.

This is a temporary reprieve and those affected should contact a rep immediately.

Unite will not stand by and see workers’ hours cut and jobs lost

Unite press release 2 October 2020

Unite warns Edinburgh City Council over plans to cut jobs and hours of key workers 

Unite Scotland has today (2 October) warned the Chief Executive of the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) that plans to cut hours and offer voluntary severance as part of cost cutting measures by Chief Executive Andrew Kerr will be ‘fiercely’ resisted.

Continue reading “Unite will not stand by and see workers’ hours cut and jobs lost”

Joint Trade Unions thank the good councillors of Edinburgh

Statement from the Joint Trade Unions of the City of Edinburgh Council in connection with item 9.8 – engagement with employees – motion to City of Edinburgh Council (Full Council) meeting 30th June 2020:

The Joint Trade Unions of the City of Edinburgh Council would like to offer their thanks to the Councillors and Parties whose votes yesterday thwarted what can only be described as an egregious attempt by the tories to belittle Trade Unions and erode the potency of workforce representation. This action of the tories, at a time when workforce representation is most critical, demonstrates either an incomprehensible lack of understanding of workforce representation or, more insidiously, a desire that workers should be divided and ruled over.

The Joint Trade Unions of the City of Edinburgh Council (who work for the betterment of the whole City of Edinburgh Council workforce regardless of their Trade Union membership) are happy that the collective will, sense and sensitivity of the council has shone brightly through. We look forward to continued positive working relations in order to further our mutual objectives of improving the circumstances of the City of Edinburgh Council’s workforce, the services we provide and the citizens, businesses, groups and organisations we provide these services to, with and for.


Below is the joint trade union deputation and you can read the full council meeting paper.


Request for Deputation – UNISON, Unite the Union and the GMB
Item 9.8 – Motion by Councillor Rust – Engagement with Employees

UNISON, Unite the union and the GMB condemn the Conservative Group for their reprehensible motion to full council, ‘Engagement with Employees’, and welcome the Labour Group’s amendment. The trade unions have been working non-stop with the council and our members to make sure that critical council work can be completed safely. We will not be dragged in to questioning the legitimacy of councillors and whether they are representative depending on the turnout of their elections, as we are above this sort of tawdry tit for tat response. The joint trade unions will continue
to work unstintingly to make sure the workforce is represented and are able to work safely while providing services to the most vulnerable. We would advise that the Conservative Group should not use Covid-19 and the unprecedented public health situation as a smoke screen for out-dated political point scoring.

Tom Connolly: Staff Side Secretary

Brian Robertson: Unite the union

Keir Greenaway: GMB