No compulsory redundancies, workers hope

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DESPITE the massive number of job losses announced at Sheffield Council, trade union Unison says it hopes to avoid compulsory redundancies.

Some 550 posts are to be lost during the next financial year - 140 lower than the expected level of up to 690 posts.

Unison, the biggest union at Sheffield Town Hall, says that last year, ‘one or two’ staff were victims of compulsory redundancy, when a total of 873 posts were axed.

Rod Padley, organiser for Unison at the council, said: “We have met with the council every week to go through these budget proposals and to make every effort to ensure there are no compulsory redundancies.

“We hope nobody will be made to leave who doesn’t want to.”

Mr Padley was critical of the council for making cuts to front line services when it promised none.

He said: “We have some grave concerns that the council is targeting front line services, when it said it would look to protect them and streamline other roles instead.

“There was a pledge that it wouldn’t do this.”

Front line services being cut include those staff who work as escorts for vulnerable people, care workers and parks staff.

But Mr Padley says the union is not angry with the council administration and lays the blame in the direction of the Government.

He said: “The fact is we are being given a disproportionate cut in funding by the Government and further cuts will have to be made in the next few years.

“It is not the council administration’s fault these savings must be made.”

Unions are not threatening any industrial action over job losses within the council itself.

Two of the council’s main subcontractors, Kier and Capita, have not yet revealed how many job losses they will make as the amount they receive from the council is cut.