UNISON branches and communities across Scotland are gearing up for a massive STUC demonstration in Glasgow on 20 October to demand ‘a future that works’ as opposed to disastrous cuts and austerity policies.
Sister events are also being held in London and Belfast and UNISON leaders from all services are urging stewards to pull out the stops and build for the day. The event will start in George Square and march to Glasgow Green.
Branches across the country have been planning and making transport arrangements, often in partnership with other unions, communities and users of public services, to ensure a turnout that cannot be ignored.
The need to build that broad coalition was underlined by UNISON Scotland Convener Lilian Macer: “Our members know that attacks on services, pay, jobs and pensions, whether from Westminster, Holyrood or individual public authorities, can and should be resisted by communities and trade unionists working and campaigning together.
“Our members will be out on October 20, as will people from the communities we serve”, she said.
Mike Kirby, UNISON Scottish Secretary, explained why the event is so important: “The Coalition Government may be in crisis but they are still refusing to change course from their dangerous and damaging programme of cuts and austerity. That damage is being directly translated into the Scottish Government’s budget decisions, affecting every service our members provide.
“On the morning of Saturday 20 October, trade unionists and community activists from across Scotland will gather for the march through Glasgow to play our part in telling governments that enough is enough.”
Tom Waterson, Health Chair, pointed to staff cuts, pay cuts and pensions threats in the NHS making it “easy to see why we will be backing the 20 October demo.”
Local Government Chair Stephanie Herd and UNISON Scotland Depute Convener Stephen Smellie tell of the huge attacks on local councils and the need to make the fight against the pay freeze part of the October 20 agenda.
Karen Dawson, Vice Chair of FE, tells of the effects of a 30% funding cut in colleges in an article that also covers cuts in HE, Police and the Community and Voluntary Sector, underlining why we all need to be there on 20 October.