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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Great UNISON Book Binge

UNISON will be collecting books for Community H.E.A.R.T throughout April and May 2016.

What we’re looking for
• Pre-reading Material
• Easy Readers
• Story Books
• Factual Books
• Reading Scheme Books
• Dictionaries
• Children's Novels
• Encyclopaedias (no more than 10 years old)

Please contact Chris Goodsell on
0131 558 7041 or deliver to UNISON City of Edinburgh Branch, 10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT

Community HEART's Founding Director and President is Denis Goldberg who was convicted at the same trial as Nelson Mandela and spent 22 years in prison for fighting Apartheid. Click here for more details.

Friday, 22 April 2016

UNISON, the union in Edinburgh opposing ALL jobs cuts

UNISON is opposing all job cuts in Edinburgh and is calling on the other unions to do the same. UNISON is therefore urging the Unite union to reconsider and withdraw its proposals to the council to cut jobs in the concierge service.

While we are engaging with the council, giving our views on all of the reviews under way, UNISON will never argue that anyone’s job should be cut.

UNISON is clear that there is a difference between engaging constructively in the reviews and doing the council’s cuts for them.

You can join UNISON at

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Cuts threaten safer housing for private tenants – and will lose council money, says UNISON

UNISON’s Edinburgh branch is warning that cuts to the council’s Private Rented Service Team could threaten safer housing for private tenants and lose the council hundreds of thousands in income.

The team ensures private landlords meet safety standards, especially in relation to houses of multiple occupation (HMO). They work closely with owners, agents and architects at the planning stages to ensure buildings comply with HMO standards.

Their work with public safety and the fire service is also key to ensuring that houses of multiple occupation are safe. Registered and unregistered lets and unlicensed HMO properties are investigated and reported on.

Landlords pay £55 to register and £11 for each property and with the number of registered landlords going up from 26,000 to 42,000 since 2008, income for the council is substantial - £9.7 million since 2011. But it could be more. It is suspected that there may be thousands of unregistered landlords in Edinburgh and cuts in staffing will hinder the ability to track these down, with all that means for protection for tenants and income for the council.

A UNISON Edinburgh spokesperson said: “The team has been working understaffed and under budget for years while workloads continue to increase. PRS staff have identified where savings could be made and where further revenue could be obtained, whilst continuing to provide a good service to landlords, agents, tenants and other stakeholders but this has been ignored.

“The council has pledged to: ‘Enforce tenancy agreements (Council and private landlord) with a view to ensuring tenants and landlords fulfil their good conduct responsibilities.’ How will this pledge be delivered with the Private Rented Service being cut?”


Monday, 11 April 2016

UNISON statement on Edinburgh schools closures

UNISON is deeply concerned about the safety implication for pupils and staff of the faults found in PPP schools in Edinburgh.

The union expects there to be a full and detailed inquiry and will want assurances that safety will be the top priority in any decisions taken about re-opening the schools.

For many years UNISON has spoken out against the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Private Public Partnerships (PPP) and the current Scottish Government's Non-Profit Distributing schemes (NPD) as wasteful and grossly expensive ways of providing public services. They reap massive profits for the private sector with little risk to them and are much more expensive than direct building.

PPP debt from previous governments is over £22 billion. The current government's NPD scheme means that Scottish councils, colleges, the NHS, government departments and Transport Scotland are committed to paying a further £6 billion for 20 Scottish Futures Trust privately financed and managed projects.

UNISON's 'Combating Austerity' report calls on government and councils to look to buy out these costly schemes wherever it is practical to do so.

See also