Nottingham City Council Trade Unions Initiate Formal Dispute Over Covid Redundancies

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Trade Unions Initiate Formal Dispute Over Covid Redundancies

Trade Unions, UNISON, Unite and GMB lodge a collective dispute with Nottingham City Council over recent redundancy proposals.

Trade unions representing employees at Nottingham City Council have lodged a joint dispute over new redundancy proposals. Offers to leave the council with a payoff have been falling on thousands of doorsteps this week as senior council leaders decide to dramatically downsize in response to Covid-19 challenges. Sources at the council confirmed in an interview with the Nottingham Post on the 29th June that keyworker redundancies 'could not be ruled out'


While acknowledging the challenges facing the council, the trade unions have criticised the move, describing it as a 'knee jerk' reaction. A joint letter opposing the proposals and signed by the branch secretaries of the three unions was submitted on Tuesday 30th June to senior management.

 


A failure to consult the unions properly, the speed with which employees received letters without warning, concerns that the proposals might be discriminatory and criticism that the council is retreating from its responsibilities to champion local government during a national crisis, were all cited as reasons for the dispute. In response to the proposals, the trade unions maintain that the council should be doing more to hold Boris Johnson to account over his repeated remarks stating that 'austerity is over', as well as his well-publicised promises of huge investment to get the UK economy moving in the wake of Covid-19.


Austerity has already meant 10 years of sustained cuts and redundancies in local government, leaving staff who remain overworked and vital services decimated. The view from the trade unions is that now is not the time to downsize further. As the country enters what could be the longest and deepest recession since the great depression of the 1930s, families in the community will look to the council and to government to provide support. It's time for the council to step up and meet the challenge not to pare back and disappear down a rabbit hole.


In addition, the trade unions maintain that whilst the shortfall in funding is primarily due to cuts demanded by the Tory government, the council does own some responsibility for its current position. In an attempt to generate alternative sources of income, the council has engaged in commercial ventures which have failed to provide the expected income and the cost of which have added to the council's financial difficulties

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In response to the proposals Christina Sanna, Branch Secretary of Nottingham City Unison says...

"Rather than retreat into submission, Nottingham's political Leaders should withdraw their planned job cuts and show bold and confident leadership, demanding of Government the financial support our City deserves. Now is the time when our communities need security that only the public sector can provide. Families who can't make ends meet need support to help care for their kids. Young people need meaningful engagement not left to gather at street corners. Workers need jobs and hope, not rejection and despair. Now is the time for big government"

Press Release submitted on behalf of
Unison
Unite
GMB

02/07/2020

 

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