Trade unionists are being encouraged to ask local council election candidates ten key questions before casting their vote on 3rd May.
The STUC, which is holding its annual conference this week, says a 6-year council tax frees is draining £500m each year from the public sector and voluntary services in Scotland.
It says the current situation is unsustainable and is calling on all political parties to work with the SNP government to make Council Tax more progressive through re-banding or else bring forward workable proposals for reform which are fair and keep taxes local.
The ‘manifesto’ of questions comes after it was reported last week people that women make up less than a quarter of next month’s Scottish council candidates, despite the fact that in hundreds of council wards parties are standing more than one candidate.
At a recent hustings by the STUC Black Workers Committee not every major party was able to put up a BME candidate to address the event.
- Women are 95 out of 362 Conservative candidates (26.2%).
- Women are 138 out of 497 Labour candidates (27.7%).
- Women are 69 out of 247 Liberal Democrat candidates (27.9%).
- Women are 149 out of 614 SNP candidates (24.3%).
- Women are 35 out of 86 Green candidates (40.7%).
Unions are also calling for all local authorities to commit themselves to continuing or introducing a Living Wage for employees and contracted staff.
The STUC says councils – and candidates – should also pledge to rule out any further waste of public money on discredited PPP schemes, especially for investment in social housing projects and to oppose further privatisation of public services or the creation of new ‘arms length organisations’.
It comes after the success of a joint union community campaign in Edinburgh to defeat privatisation.
Supporters say the campaign proved how much service users and public service workers care about democratically accountable and not for profit service provision.
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