8 March 2019

Good Morning,

I am Kevin Keenan, Leader of the Labour Group on Dundee City Council.

Last year when I welcomed you, I mentioned the birth of my Grand-daughter who will have her 1st Birthday this weekend.

This year, I have to advise you of the sad news of the passing of two Labour Stalwarts.

- The former Labour Lord Provost, Merv Rolfe and Councillor Brian Gordon.

As many of you will know, Merv was committed to Education and Brian equally as committed to the rights of the workers.

We as a Party need to double our efforts in both these areas to make a difference for those we serve.

Education – Merv’s Specialist Subject

John Swinney says he values Teachers and will work to reduce their workload. Yet here in Dundee, his disciples cut Education by £3m.

26 Teachers from our Primary Schools and 36 support staff / classroom assistants.

This will only increase the teacher’s workload adding an extra burden to the teachers left behind.

Sitting through the 5 hour Budget debate that cut £18m from services in this City.

The only real concern shown by the SNP was around the withdrawal of £16k for free issue of dog poo bags - completely glossing over the £3m worth of cuts to our Education Budget and the loss of 60 jobs in Education alone – Conference – do you think it demonstrates that they care?

Workers' Rights/Terms and Conditions – Specialist Subject of Councillor Brian Gordon – A Lifetime committed to the Labour and Trade Union Movement

The recent Budget voted through by the SNP Administration, saw an out and out attack on workers’ terms and conditions – all coming from the self-professed anti-austerity party.

Let’s have a go at the workers – for me, this shows what they care about – workers - not a jot – but it’s care nevertheless!

Care Workers are being offered a split shift and reduced hours that can affect their pay packet by £4.5k a year.

Other Changes:-

• Reduced period of conserved salaries

• Huge changes to the Voluntary Redundancy and Early Retirement Schemes

• Compulsory redundancies back on the agenda

Conference we are needed by hard-working people to be at our very best.

We need to focus on the things that make a real difference to people’s quality of life.

We need to demonstrate that we are a strong, united Party as we did here at Conference last year.

I believe this year we will have another great and successful Conference.

I hope that you will return to Dundee next year as I look forward to getting my Long Service Award for Conference welcomes.

Conference, thank you for listening to me.

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