Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Inverclyde UNISON warns on cuts to services and jobs

DATE: 11 August 2010

Inverclyde Council today announced  that it expects to employ 500 fewer staff by 2013 and said it faces a funding gap of £33.7 million in the next three years. Details here

UNISON Inverclyde Branch - Press Release

The announcement by Inverclyde Council that as many as 500 jobs could be lost over the next three years will create a great deal of anxiety amongst UNISON members and their families. It will also unnerve members of the community who our members provide a service to.

The scale of the cuts is unprecedented and while UNISON accepts that this not of the council's doing, nonetheless we would encourage the Council to think long and hard before deciding what services will be reduced or withdrawn.

UNISON Service Conditions officer Robin Taggart says: "The Trade Unions will continue to work with the Council in an effort to find solutions to such a huge funding gap. We believe there is scope to identify savings which least impact on jobs and services, such as the use of expensive private consultants which cost the Council nearly £0.5m last year. But our greatest concern is the projected level of job losses with as much as 10% of the current workforce no longer having a job by the end of the three year budget period.

"Unemployment in Inverclyde is already comparatively high and it's difficult to see how job losses within the Council can be mitigated by increased employment opportunities elsewhere in the area. It's not overstating the point that this situation could prove to be devastating not just for Council employees and users of services but also for the local economy which is already having to cope with the affects of population diminution."

UNISON, along with the other Trade Unions, is committed to continuing with the partnership approach. However Robin Taggart adds: "The joint budget group provides us with an opportunity to influence the overall direction of where the budget cuts may eventually fall. However industrial action may be unavoidable in future if the Council decides to serve compulsory redundancy notices on our members."


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