Cathy Peattie has tabled a motion calling on the Scottish Government to intervene in the local government dispute.
“The problem is a direct consequence of the Scottish Government’s actions,” said Cathy. “The Scottish Government negotiated a council tax freeze, in return for a reduction in ringfencing, but that has left local government struggling to maintain services AND meet new obligations AND find money to meet rising costs AND pay some of our lowest paid workers a living wage. Local authority workers, like the rest of us, have rising costs, but are being told they must accept a settlement well below inflation. In effect, they are being asked to pay the cost of freezing the council tax.
“Ministers are quick enough to say that other people should take responsibility for their actions. What about them? The Scottish Government should not be allowed to ignore its responsibilities, leaving local authorities, hard working employees and the public to suffer the consequences. The Scottish Government has a duty to stop passing the buck.”
S3M-02605 Cathy Peattie (Falkirk East) (Scottish Labour): Pay Matters – Support Local Government Workers – That the Parliament congratulates all involved in the All Scotland March and Rally, which took place in Edinburgh on Wednesday 24 September 2008, the second day of action and strike for fair pay by public sector workers, involving members of the GMB, UNISON and Unite the Union; notes that some local government staff are paid little more than the minimum wage, below the level that poverty experts say is the minimum needed to provide our lowest paid workers with a living wage; further notes that the action is hitting council services across Scotland, disrupting schools, nurseries and community education, social care services, cleansing and environmental health, housing, planning, roads and transport – including closing ferry services in Argyll and the Highlands – registry services, parks, leisure and recreation, libraries and museums, halls and theatres and many other services, and believes that the Scottish Government has a duty to intervene, facilitate renewed negotiations and provide adequate funding for an improved offer to staff.
Supported by: Bashir Ahmad, Jackie Baillie, Dr Elaine Murray, David Whitton, Cathy Jamieson, Marlyn Glen, Elaine Smith, Bill Butler, Des McNulty, Hugh Henry, Mary Mulligan, John Park, Robin Harper, Sarah Boyack, Cathie Craigie, Marilyn Livingstone