TOWN hall staff are refusing to work weekends under proposals to make the Clydebank building more open to the public.

Unions have hit back at the plan, which would cost an extra £50,000 to taxpayers when council bosses are already struggling to pay the bills because of dwindling Scottish Government funding.

But councillors had wanted the option of opening Clydebank Town Hall seven days a week. It hasn't been open to the public since the pandemic hit.

Before Covid, the venue's opening hours were 8.45am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am to 4pm on Saturday.

In December, West Dunbartonshire Council's cultural committee heard there were options to open on Saturdays and Sundays, but they also recommended keeping the existing hours.

Councillors on the committee instead opted open the building from Wednesday through Sunday and close it to the public on Monday and Tuesdays.

But councillors and their staff would still require access to the building on those two days, meaning it would have to operate seven days a week.

Now council bosses are warning that seven-day opening would cost £50,000 more a year, or £25,000 for a six-month pilot.

A total of £10,000 of the cost would be lost revenue from groups or meetings that would normally be on Mondays or Tuesdays.

But trade unions have said the changes are not acceptable - and have told officials that staff at the building would not have applied for their current roles if they'd known they would have to work every weekend.

A report prepared for the cultural committee's January 17 meeting states: "GMB, Unite and Unison have raised significant concerns over what they describe as a fundamental, unnecessary and unacceptable change to employee contracts and the risk of employees either being displaced or having their contracts terminated and reissued.

"They have highlighted the impact this change will have on employees, their wellbeing and work or caring commitments, and indicated they would oppose any move to impose new contracts incorporating weekend working on individuals without their explicit consent.

"They have also advised this situation would put the council at risk of subsequent claims from affected employees, and questioned whether the decision demonstrates best value for the organisation.

"Formal consultation with the affected employee group will follow, however it should be noted that early indications from the five employees is that they would not accept a change to their contract which would introduce permanent weekend working.

"The employee group has been flexible to support the needs of the service in the past however cannot commit to working every Saturday and Sunday and have confirmed that they would not have applied for their current roles had this been required."