photograph by Stuart Maxwell
Glasgow’s £18m re-vamped sports stadium at Scotstoun got off to a flying start on Wednesday 7 July with the Super8 athletics meeting. And while the eight cities competing were welcomed by Councillor Archie Graham inside the stadium, Glasgow city workers were on picket duty outside.
Councillor Graham informed the sparse crowd in the 5000 capacity stadium, that Glasgow has invested more than £100 m in the city in the past decade. Scotstoun stadium was part of its plan to become the Scottish Capital of Sports and would be a venue during the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
A fun relay race launched the evening with Glasgow Warriors rugby Club, Scottish Rocks basketball club, Wildcats netball Club and the city’s own Athletics Club competing and the athletes winning the trophy.
But there will be no trophies – and no bonuses or overtime pay – for the Culture and Sport Glasgow workers who stood in solidarity at the gates. Four unions – Unison, Unite, GMB and BECTU – are taking strike action in a dispute over a wage cut of up to 10% for more than 150 of their members, a pay freeze for other colleagues and cuts in public holidays and overtime rates for all. Said spokesman Sam Macartney: ‘We are here to let the public be aware of the dispute. Some staff have lost between £1000 and £2000 a year. Glasgowlife, as Culture and Sport is now called, is prepared to spend thousands of pounds bringing in a security company for this athletics meeting, but it is not prepared to spend a few pounds to resolve this dispute.’
A spokesman for Glasgowlife said: ‘This dispute is not about job losses. We have promised to protect jobs and services at a time when many other staff in public and private sectors are facing redundancy. But Glasgowlife must make savings of £3.4 million in the current financial year. As a seven-day-a-week service, enhanced overtime payments – such as effectively triple time on a bank holiday – have been replaced with plain-time overtime payments.’