City cutbacks

Glasgow Life to cut 500 jobs as losses mount

Jobs will go at the cities cultural centres

Glasgow Life, the leisure and cultural unit run at arms length from the city council, is cutting 500 jobs because of rising losses.

Eighty of its 171 venues, including libraries, cultural venues, sports centres and community hubs, remain shut across the city.

The jobs will be cut “over time” using “targeted” early retirement and voluntary redundancies to claw back a £38 million loss.

Glasgow Life said its policy is to avoid compulsory redundancies.

In a statement, it said: “Our current policy is for no compulsory redundancies and staff have a guarantee of a job at the same grade within the council family.

“While our overall headcount will reduce by an estimated 500 over time, this is being managed using targeted early retirement and voluntary redundancy and careful vacancy management as people leave to pursue new career opportunities.

“Staff may also be offered redeployment opportunities and will be supported with appropriate training if they move to a new role.

“Glasgow Life’s ability to open more venues is entirely dependent on more funding becoming available.

“However, it’s unrealistic to expect that it can raise significant additional income this year that will support the reopening of venues beyond the 91 already announced.

“Glasgow Life will be a very different organisation at the end of this period and we are asking staff for flexibility during this process and are regularly updating them through internal communications and briefings from their managers; and unions are also regularly updated.”

Harry Blackwood from the GMB Union said: “This statement does little to allay the fears over job security for our members. Furthermore the communication from Glasgow Life has been devoid of any substance about job losses.”

“Staff need assurances and answers from management.”

Labour MSP Paul Sweeney said: “This announcement from Glasgow Life will come as a body blow to the hundreds of dedicated, long serving staff who have kept the city’s cultural assets flourishing for decades.

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“It’s abundantly clear that the Scottish Government’s disproportionate cuts to Glasgow City Council, coupled with an SNP administration in Glasgow that refuses to speak out, has resulted in Glasgow Life becoming an easy target and unfortunately it will be the workers and the city at large who suffer as a consequence.

“The Scottish Government have slashed Glasgow’s budget over the last decade, so it’s simply not credible to blame these cuts on a loss of revenue due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“It’s now time for Glasgow’s politicians, regardless of political party, to stand up and say to the Scottish Government that enough is enough – Glasgow must have the funds it both needs and deserves to thrive. A refusal to do so is a dereliction of duty and a failure of the people of Glasgow.”

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