As Glasgow’s SNP minority administration prepare their first annual budget for the city, Green councillors are pushing for those who deliver our vital public services to have better working conditions.
Currently, many of the services that Glasgow City Council is responsible for are delivered by so-called Arm’s Length External Organisations (ALEOs), such as Cordia and Community Safety Glasgow. The collapse of Carillion serves as a stark warning for what can ensue when third parties are tasked with providing vital services. I and my Green colleagues on the council want to see steps taken to bring these organisations back into full council control. This would not only ensure more democratic accountability for key services for the people of Glasgow, but will also mean better conditions for workers.
Many of our most vulnerable citizens depend on the services provided by ALEOs. Staff on the frontline have often found that working conditions mean they’ve been unable to offer the level of care or service that they so desperately want. Scottish Greens have long maintained that having ALEOs directly under the council’s jurisdiction is necessary to providing the level of service that Glasgow’s citizens deserve and the conditions that hard-working staff need to do their jobs well.
Bringing ALEOs back under the council umbrella is crucial, and equally so is allowing services already run in-house to have the resources they need to do a proper job. For example, the previous administration created 130 temporary contracts for refuse workers in last year’s budget as a short term political fix right before the election. Cleansing is an essential service, and ensuring adequate permanent staffing levels is key to this.
The current administration say they're serious about using the powers of City Chambers to make real change happen for the people of Glasgow. We'd like them to show that, by taking steps to make sure that all workers on the frontline of council services see better conditions. We want to see real and fundamental change to the delivery and structure of Glasgow’s public services. The extra £17.6m recently won for Glasgow by Green MSPs can only help. Your Green councillors are working constructively to see this much-needed money spent well on making Glasgow a cleaner, safer city for all of us.