Unions have gathered outside Glasgow City Chambers to send a stark warning to councillors ahead of expected swingeing budget cuts on Thursday.

The city faces a budget deficit of £107 million over the next three years with a further £40m shortfall in social care services.

There is further financial strain in the tens of millions of pounds expected for Scotland's largest local authority as it prepares to implement new pay and grading structures agreed on following successful equal pay claims.

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Against this stark backdrop, members of Unison, GMB, Unite and the EIS gathered 24 hours before a council committee meeting to further calls for a "no cuts" budget.

Thursday morning's budget meeting is expected to see financial cuts alongside an increase in service charges for residents. 

Chris Sermanni, Unison branch secretary said further cuts to the council budget following a decade of austerity are "completely and utterly unsustainable".

He said: "The workers are already on their knees, being asked to do more with less. Vacancies haven't been filled but demand for services hasn't gone down.

"When you don't increase funding with the demand, you're asking the workforce to provide more with less and that has a serious impact on their mental and physical health.

"That is only going to be made worse tomorrow unless the politicians change the direction that they've been going in for the last numerous years."

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Unions say the council should implement a one-year "no cuts budget" to "buy time" using borrowing to invest, reserves or refinancing existing debt.

While acknowledging this would be merely a stay, rather than a solution, Mr Sermanni said the 12 month breathing space could be used to find more long term funding solutions.

He said: "We cannot deliver the services that this city deserves on the money that we're getting, and that I think that would have a seismic effect in terms of people in society seeing that.

"Because what they've been doing thus far, which is passing on the cuts from Westminster to the Scottish Government to the council and then the council to the HSCP, it hasn't worked.

"It's just made things worse."

Last year First Minister Humza Yousaf pledged a freeze on council tax, which has been backed by Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken.

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The Unison representative added: "When you're in a position where public funds and the local government are completely starved of funding, it just seems the priorities are out of order to put forward a populist policy that freezes the council tax when things are dire on the streets.

"One of the big things people talks about is potholes. All you see everywhere is temporary traffic lights.

"But it's services like home care, homelessness, addictions - and then we have Glasgow Life's museums. These are the services that are supposed to attract people to the city.

"They're underfunded.

"The education workers, the support staff in school, they were out on strike for their pay deal and standing speaking to them the job that do is phenomenal, but it's low paid.

"They have to deal with a lot of violence and they don't have enough resources. Priorities should be to mitigate that as much as possible before announcing a council tax freeze."

Sean O'Neill, a Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Coordinator, is a representative of the GMB union and joined the protest over his concerns around resources in the city's schools.

DYW staff are part-funded by the council and partially by the Scottish Government but staffing numbers were reduced last year, removing DYW workers from certain secondaries and asking them to cover multiple schools at once.

Mr O'Neill said: "There's already a massive workload on teachers and the services that are helping young people move into employment and move into colleges.

"These cuts are generational because these young people who aren't in the world yet are going to feel that effect five, 10, 15 years down the line.

"So this is about the current workforce, who are struggling to pay bills, but it's about the future workforce as well who have been let down."

Chris Mitchell, a GMB convenor, referred to a "homelessness crisis, social work crisis and waste management crisis" across Glasgow as well as mass poverty.

Glasgow City Council's budget for 2024/25 is expected to pass a budget that sees council tax frozen and the council accept the funding from the Scottish Government to do so.

Mr O'Neill, also painting a bleak picture of the city's prospects, added: "Cuts just mean other staff members, people who care, because it is a caring workforce, are going way above their remit to make sure nobody is left behind.

"But it is getting harder and harder to do that in this climate and more young people are getting left behind every single year.

"Cuts are not progressive. It's neglect at best and at the worst it's murder because we're dealing with a homelessness crisis and all sorts of crises that are affecting the most vulnerable people.

"They need to think about those people and shake the tree if they need to. At the end of the day, they work for us, we elected them and they should serve us."