UNISON's general Secretary, Dave Prentis, today launched the public service union's major 'Public Works' campaign fighting back against cuts in public services.
Speaking at a rally in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, he attacked all political parties' 'Macho Politics' and announced that the union's research has uncovered cuts of £300m across Scottish local government with a planned job loss of over 3,000.
"No school cleaner gambled billions on the stock exchange." He said, "None of them created this recession. Why should they be expected to pay for it?"
Dave also pointed to the danger of cuts plunging the economy back into recession as public spending is the only engine of growth we have. "Spending on public services makes sense if you are trying to grow the economy. "
He said, "for every pound spent on public services, 64 pence goes back into the local economy."
Dave made it clear that all the major parties were to blame in a rush to the bottom, but reserved particular criticism for David Cameron's Tories who, he said, hadn't changed
"They are calling for savage cuts - using the crisis to dismantle the welfare state. 20% cut in public expenditure over two years, but tax cuts for the rich . a world of haves and have nots."
He also urged Gordon Brown to learn from President Barack Obama's decision to stand up to American bankers. "Lets hear more about pay freezes for bankers," He said. "Lets hear Gordon calling for every last dime to be paid back to the taxpayer."
The rally, was attended by around 400 UNISON delegates from branches all ac ross Scotland, and invited guests from communities fighting cuts. It agreed to build towards a mass march and rally later in the spring and decided to make public spending a major campaign issue in the forthcoming General Election campaign
Note for editors:
UNISON's Public works campaign is part of the union's UK Million voices for change campaign. Details at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/publicworks/
UNISON's Alternative Budget can be found at http://www.unison.org.uk/million/resources/Alternative_Budget.pdf