Opposition parties rage at Glasgow Life jobs cuts, but council say they’ve known for a year

Oppositon parties have reacted to fresh reports that hundreds of jobs could be at risk for staff at Glasgow Life.

500 jobs are on the line as the culture and leisure arm confirmed losses of £38m
500 jobs are on the line as the culture and leisure arm confirmed losses of £38m

It was reported that 500 jobs are on the line as the culture and leisure arm of Glasgow City Council confirmed losses of £38m due to the closure of venues during lockdown – with 80 of its 171 venues remaining closed.

Last year members of the city administration committee approved a motion to offer voluntary redundancy and retirement packages to employees across the council over three years.

Members of Conservative party are now saying that the administration needs to “stand up for its communities” by “calling out years of Scottish Government cuts”, while the Greens believe Glasgow Life should focus on re-opening all its venues as soon as possible.

Green councillor Jon Molyneux said:“Glasgow Life shouldn’t be preparing for any job losses whatsoever. Its focus must be on restarting all its services and reopening all its venues as soon as possible, as directed by the city’s councillors.

“That will need the Scottish Government to step in with extra funding until other income recovers. That’s what Scottish Greens have been demanding for more than a year now.

“It’s welcome that the council leadership is now publicly calling for a better funding deal for Glasgow, and we support those calls. But fears that Glasgow Life is using Covid as cover to close dozens of community venues, or to pass them off onto volunteers to run, are not helped by this harmful speculation on job losses.”

Conservative group leader Councillor Thomas Kerr says that this will be a very worrying announcement for Glasgow Life staff.

He added: “Unfortunately our libraries, museums and sports centres do need protection from a council who have meekly accepted cut after cut from their bosses in Edinburgh.

"What they are doing to our city’s built heritage is nothing short of cultural vandalism and there isn’t a single SNP politician who’s willing to break ranks from the party line and speak out.

“The Conservative group will do everything in our power to protect Glasgow Life and send a message to Nicola Sturgeon that enough is enough.”

Depute leader of the council and chairman of Glasgow Life councillor David MacDonald said that councillor Kerr took part in the discussion where the policy was adopted.

He said: “Thomas Kerr is yet again proving himself to be either a rank hypocrite or so clueless that he can’t even remember key decisions that he himself has taken part in.

"He approved the exact approach to managing workforce pressures that Glasgow Life is taking, which will ensure the ongoing commitment to no compulsory redundancies is adhered to across the council.

“What’s more, the Tory budget proposals this year not only included job losses, it would have cut almost £5m from Glasgow Life’s budget and permanently closed community facilities in Maryhill and Milton.”

A council spokesman added: “The ongoing process outlined by Glasgow Life is not new and has been before members both at committee and as part of their various groups’ budget considerations.

“The council agreed its position on the use of early retirement, voluntary redundancy and redeployment in June last year. The council remains committed to no compulsory redundancies.”