UNISON calls on Aberdeen City Council to halt cuts to staff


UNISON is calling on the administration group at Aberdeen City Council to halt proposals to cut staff and attack their terms and conditions. The 2019/20 budget is proposing £41.2m of cuts, affecting service delivery and the futures of 260 council workers.

Kenny Luke, UNISON Aberdeen City Branch Secretary, said:

“These proposals will have a massive impact on our members and our city. If they’re approved by the Council, they will hit a workforce under huge pressure to deliver vital services to the people of Aberdeen.

“We’ll have lost 780 colleagues in just two years with these proposals. Excluding ringfenced staff, that’s 1 in 6 council workers.

“Morale is at its lowest for decades – while our members have been doing their best to support change, the pressure is piling on and they don’t have much more to give. Changes to terms and conditions will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It’s not what our members signed up for.

“We want to assure our members that we will be fighting these ideological cuts and protecting their terms and conditions. We will be campaigning for the vital services that support the most vulnerable in our city.”

Last year there was a significant re-organisation of Aberdeen City Council. This included 370 job cuts as the Council began implementing its new Target Operating Model. In response to this, UNISON Aberdeen City set out it’s red lines for change. This included no compulsory redundancies and no changes to terms and conditions.

Kenny Luke added:

“Last year the administration told the BBC that there would be no more than 370 posts removed in total. This year’s proposals blow that out of the water. While the administration has told us that they are committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies, every cut causes damage to council services and puts jobs at risk.

“Our position remains clear – UNISON stands for ‘no compulsory redundancies’ and will stand up for our members’ jobs. We will robustly challenge any attempts by Council management to the contrary and are meeting with our members over the coming weeks to provide support. We stand in solidarity with our sister unions on this.”

UNISON is urging all workers at Aberdeen City Council to join them in standing up to the cuts. The only way to make their voices heard is to join a trade union and show strength in numbers.



Kenny Luke, Branch Secretary (note, not available 1-2pm today)
07918 372 056

Simon Watson, Regional Organiser
07903 055 477

Notes to editors:

  1. UNISON Aberdeen City represents 1 in 3 employees at Aberdeen City Council and its partners. Together we are working for a better deal for all our members.
  2. In 2017 there were 150 jobs released through voluntary severance. The 2018/19 budget process removed a further 370 jobs, and the current proposals increase this by a further 260 jobs.
  3. Reductions in the Aberdeen City Council budget since the Target Operating Model was approved are around 10% (8.6% in the 2019/20 proposals).
  4. Members of UNISON are organised into branches who represent local workplaces. The Aberdeen City Branch is for employees of Aberdeen City Council, Sport Aberdeen, Bon Accord Care, Grampian Housing Association, and other council partners.

UNISON is one of the UK’s largest trade unions, serving more than 1.3 million members. We represent full-time and part-time staff who provide public services, although they may be employed in both the public and private sectors.

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