Unions in Doncaster angry over loss of 2,100 jobs at council

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UNIONS in Doncaster have hit out at figures showing that the borough has seen the second-highest number of council jobs losses in the whole of Yorkshire.

Statistics published by the GMB union show only Leeds has seen more jobs go than Doncaster, with the number of staff at the South Yorkshire authority dropping by 15.3 per cent from 14,264 in 2010 to 12,077 this year.

Doncaster Council has defended the figures for the borough.

Jo Miller, chief executive at the authority, said: “The council’s priority is to protect local services and give value for money.

“In the past two years we gave all our employees the opportunity to apply for voluntary redundancy or early retirement and the vast majority of our job cuts have occurred through voluntary means and non-filling of vacant posts.

“Compulsory redundancy is always our last option.”

According to the figures, the largest number of jobs shed in the Yorkshire and Humber region, which is made up of 22 local authority areas, was in Leeds.

Leeds saw its jobs figure fall from 34,975 to 31,871, representing a fall of 3,104, or 8.9 per cent.

But union officials in Doncaster are concerned there could be more jobs still to go.

Jim Board, the Doncaster local government branch secretary of Unison, said: “Our view has always been that Doncaster’s programme of job losses and staffing reduction has always been way beyond anything acceptable.

“We think it has undermined front line services and put extra pressure on staff, and we feel the cuts have been disproportionate for an authority the size of Doncaster, going deeper and faster.”

The next highest figure in South Yorkshire according the GMB figures was Sheffield, where the staff numbers fell 8.1 per cent, from 18,388 to 16,899, a drop of 1,489.

In Rotherham, staff numbers fell from 13,139 to 11,692, an 11 per cent reduction.

Barnsley saw its staffing levels fall 7.2 per cent, according the the GMB, from 10,447 to 9,694, a reduction of 753.