Angus librarians to ballot on strike action

The ballot will open on November 30.The ballot will open on November 30.
The ballot will open on November 30.
Libraries across Angus are braced for disruption to services following the decision by the UNISON trade union to ballot for strike action.

The ballot, which opens on November 30 - comes in response to changes approved by Angus councillors which could see some library staff have their hours cut and be required to relocate away from their home base.

For the third time since 2015, staff in libraries and access services employed as Information Advisers by ANGUSAlive - an arm's-length organisation set up by Angus Council to deliver leisure and culture services - are facing plans to cut their pay and/or terms and conditions. Angus Council met on Thursday, November 3 to approve ANGUSALive’s proposals which also included changes to opening hours of libraries across the council area.

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These are essential front-line services provided by a predominately female workforce to the community in Angus. UNISON has supported members during the consultation period since September but had urged Angus Council to defer their decision.

Chris Boyle, UNISON branch secretary, said: "We are supporting our members who tell us that these proposals are not fit for purpose. There has been a lack of information provided to support these proposals or to convince us that these changes are justified.

"Our members will have their pay cut and their hours of work changed. Some staff may be expected to travel to a different work location incurring additional travel costs. That's simply not acceptable during a cost-of-living crisis; these changes will also affect pensions".

Mo Dickson, UNISON Regional Organiser added: "We cannot believe that members of the public have not been made aware or consulted about these proposals. This is an essential front-line service provided by experienced members of staff for the Angus community. We had asked Angus Council to defer any decision about these changes until a robust process has been undertaken, data gathered and analysed, and full consultation has taken place which includes the community. This process hasn't happened".

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“UNISON and our members are fundamentally opposed to these proposals which must not go ahead. In light of the Council's decision, UNISON will commence a formal industrial action ballot on Wednesday 30 November. “