Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith said:
“Today’s JRF reveals the terrible impact of austerity policies on the vital services provided by local authorities in Scotland and across the UK. The STUC and public sector unions have been arguing for some time that the increased pressure on staff workloads and cuts in employment are not just bad news for our members, but those that they serve.
“This report adds to the volume of evidence that cuts to so-called ‘back office’ functions impact directly on the front-line, and that staff are increasingly pushed into crisis management rather than being able to take a forward looking problem solving approach.
“Increased levels of stress and illness are a natural result of the intensification of work and the pressures of holding together of services which are under unprecedented pressure.
“It is truly horrifying to contemplate that we are only half-way through the UK Government’s proposed cuts agenda and we fully back the Joseph Rowntree call for the cuts to cease. The STUC will continue to lobby Government at all levels to act now to protect the vulnerable and those who provide lifeline services in our communities.”
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Excerpt from JRF report The level of stress this entails does not appear sustainable in the longer term and in many areas staff report feeling overwhelmed by the scale and nature of the problems they are dealing with. At the same time as their organisations are shedding staff, they find needs increasing. At least some of these needs result from the cuts in welfare benefits which are creating a depth or intensity of problems which organisations have not faced before.