Tory-Lib Dem council back off from cuts after strike

The GMB trade union has this evening lifted plans for four days of strike action affecting waste and recycling services after a sudden climb-down by East Dunbartonshire Council over cuts to staff terms and conditions.

With strike action officially due to start at midnight, council officials agreed to reverse their decision to cut overtime allowances, annual leave entitlement and changes to the notional working day, restoring hundreds of pounds in  earnings to staff.

GMB Scotland's Organiser Hazel Nolan welcomed the decision, commenting: “Make no mistake that GMB members have led from the front to defend their interests while councillors who bulldozed through these cuts tried to duck their responsibilities.

"We still have some road to travel to restore our members’ full redundancy entitlements but if the council do the right thing in these negotiations then the threat of any future industrial action will be lifted. The ball is very much in their court." she said.

"This evening’s climb-down should send out a clear message that the rights of our members must be respected and that after ten years of austerity, ‘enough is enough’ of council cuts.”

In a statement, Joint council leader Vaughan Moody said: "We've stated previously that the current financial climate is extremely challenging and difficult decisions have had to be taken but it's positive that the current negotiation process is identifying potential alternative solutions and hopefully discussions next week will conclude with a negotiated settlement."

The GMB, Unite and Unison members have said they will continue the overtime ban and work to rule until the rest of their conditions are restored.

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