South Ayrshire Council and trade union UNISON have reaffirmed their commitment to working together as the Council prepares to tackle its biggest budget challenge yet.
The Council is currently anticipating that it will need to bridge a budget gap of around £17 million in 2018/19, which could have significant implications for what the Council does and how it does it.
Council Leader, Councillor Douglas Campbell, said: "As we head into these unprecedented times, we want to ensure we have input and involvement from all our key partners and stakeholders. Trade unions are vital to that process and I'm pleased to be working with UNISON and our other trade union partners on this important piece of work as well as our day-to-day activities.
"We very much value the input the trade unions bring and always respect their views on many different issues, even if we don't agree with a particular position – which has to be expected at least some of the time. That's a true sign of partnership working in practice and reflects the different angles our individual organisations are coming from.
"We all know there are big challenges ahead and whether we agree about how we tackle these or not, what's important is that we have the discussion and dialogue and keep that going – no matter how tough it gets.
"Our trade unions provide their members with a crucial voice on the way we deliver our services and employees' terms and conditions, and that's exactly what we want to hear from them as we work to finalise our budget for the next financial year."
UNISON Regional Organiser Tracey Dalling said "We welcome the opportunity to engage positively and constructively with the Council and our shared commitment to partnership working.
"Our fundamental principles of a shared understanding of common, agreed and stated objectives are essential in meeting the challenges ahead. We jointly agree with the Council that whilst we may have differing views, each of these will be afforded equal consideration. There will be mutual respect, trust and honesty in our ongoing and future engagements."