A MAJOR march and rally against public sector cuts is to be held in Kirkcaldy next Saturday (April 23).
Organised by public sector union UNISON, ‘several thousand’ people are expected to march from the Town Square to Beveridge Park on to demonstrate against cuts across local public services.
At the end of the march, a rally will take place where speakers from the Scottish Trades Union Congress, UNISON and local people affected by the cuts will make speeches. In addition there will be a number of family activities laid on with activities for children.
Dougie Gordon, branch chairman of UNISON Fife, said the march and rally was the launch of a community campaign to defend vital public services.
“The people of Fife rely on quality public services, from the clean water in our taps, the education of our children and the care of our vulnerable and elderly,” he said. “The very future of our services is being put at risk by political decisions made here in Fife, Holyrood and Westminster.”
The campaign, entitled ‘Save Fife’s Public Services’ is asking communities across the Kingdom to support it in order to send a message to politicians.
It highlighted the decision by Fife Council to privatise care homes as an example of political decisions being made, despite the wishes of residents, relatives and the community to retain the homes run by in-house staff.
“Despite the huge wave of opposition to this decision by Fife Council, it is pursuing a policy of privatising our valuable care homes,” added Mr Gordon.
“UNISON members are devastated at the decision taken over these homes and there is a real fear that other valuable services will face the same fate.
The union said that cuts to public spending are not isolated to local government and also affect the NHS, claiming that health workers, cleaners and support staff were under “enormous pressure” to deliver efficiencies.
Wilma Brown, branch secretary of the UNISON health branch, said: “For the first time in many years, student nurses face the prospect of not being offered suitable employment opportunities which could have a long-term impact on the nursing profession in Fife.”
Mr Gordon concluded: “This event is for everybody. We are trying to get the message across that if the cuts don’t affect you this year, they may well do so next year.”