Tuesday, 11 January 2011

gmb redundancy update

News from the Socialist Unity blog re council redundancies. Working in the voluntary sector in Lambeth, we are waiting for the announcement by Lambeth Council there on the 24th - many voluntary sector organisations are expecting to have to close, including many dealing with older and disabled people.
Joseph Healy

As the Prime Minister met business leaders in Downing Street on new private sector jobs the terrible news is that the official total of redundancy notices by councils in Britain is over 100,000GMB's latest list shows that a total of 102,289 posts are under threat of being made redundant at 131 councils across Britain. In nearly all these councils a 90 day statutory consultation period is underway on how to deal with these job losses. Councils have given notice that they plan to delete vacant posts and seek volunteers for early retirements and redundancy. See Notes to Editors for list of authorities by region.

Under the Trades Union and Labour Relations(Consolidation) Act 1992  employers are required to give the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills an advance(HR1) notification of potential redundancies and to send copies to recognized trades unions. Section 6 of the HR1 form sets out the number of possible redundancies and the date on the form triggers the 90 day consultation period. The information below on the levels of posts under threat is mainly drawn from this source. Section 4 deals with timing of redundancies and the most common date on the HR1 forms is 31 March 2011. Some volunteers have already left.

Since the GMB press release of 22 December listing 107 councils another 24 councils have been added to the list. These are - with number of posts threatened - Bolton Borough Council;2000; Argyll and Bute Council;637; Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea;165; East Sussex County Council;150; Devon and Cornwall Police;700; Blackburn with Darwin;600; Derby City Council;750; St Helens Borough Council;400;
Bristol City Council;740; Kent County Council;1,500; Wyre Forest District Council;24; New Forest District Council;40; Peterborough City Council;180; Cleveland Combined Fire Authority;180; Tyne and Wear Fire Authority;170; Durham Police Authority;86; Middlesbrough Borough Council;400; Stockton on Tees Borough Council;350; North Yorkshire Combined Fire Authority;130; North Yorkshire Police Authority; 210; Kent Police Authority;1,500; Sussex Police Authority;1,010; Aberdeenshire;900 full time equivalent and Flintshire Council; 68.

There are a total of 353 councils in England, 22 in Wales and 32 in Scotland plus a total of 90 other authorities including national parks, police, fire and waste. For a total of 366 authorities GMB has not yet established the  number of posts under threat.

Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for Public Services, said ""As the Prime Minister meets business leaders on new private sector jobs the terrible news is that the official total of redundancy notices issued by
councils in Britain has now gone over 100,000.

This still only covers less than half of councils so this figure is going to go far higher. The job losses stem from the budget reductions imposed by the coalition government on councils who are therefore having to chop local
services. No job in local government is safe from these swingeing cuts.

Meanwhile the bankers who caused the financial crisis still have their snouts in the trough. There is one rule for "the haves" and another for the rest of us. The Government is even setting up a new "bankers free school" in
Battersea for them at a cost of tens of millions as the job losses mount.

Not one government minister has shown any comprehension of the human tragedy of all these job losses. It's sickening that council workers are taking the rap for other people's mistakes. Home care helps, social workers, teachers, school dinner ladies, refuse collectors and street cleaners are all desperately worried about their future and asking - why us?

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