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Unions march in Glasgow against £53m council cuts

TRADE unionists will march in Glasgow today against millions of pounds of devastating “stealth” cuts to public sector jobs and the privatisation of council services.

The unions are protesting against Glasgow City Council’s plans to cut £53 million from April on top of £300m it has already cut from the budget since 2010.

The cumulative percentage cut in the council’s revenue spending will reach around 20 per cent.

The unions also point to “cuts by stealth” in the city’s health services by leaving vacant posts empty as well as cuts in further education colleges and universities, including possible further privatisations of catering services.

Calls will also be made for the council not to proceed with the full privatisation of its IT services and to retain a janitor in all schools.

The council’s plans to cut caretakers across the city sparked a long-running dispute with workers striking for more than 62 days last year in a bid to prevent the council axing a quarter of jobs.

A spokesman for union Unison said: “As public sector jobs go that means fewer services for the people of Glasgow.

“Another £14m is to be cut from social care and £3m from home care which will hit the most vulnerable once again.”

Unions say that the primary responsibility for cuts to services lies with the Tories at Westminster but that Scottish politicians should be doing more to resist the plans.

They argue that much more could be done in the short term to hold off further cuts via current council and Scottish government borrowing powers, the use of council reserves and a fuller use of the current taxation powers of the Scottish Parliament.

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