Plans by Hull city council to sack its 6,733-strong workforce and re-employ them on inferior terms and conditions was strongly condemned by Unite, the country’s largest union, today (Tuesday 8 October).
Unite national officer for local authorities Fiona Farmer blamed the reduction of funding by communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles for ‘the draconian action’ that the council – one of the region’s largest employers - has been forced to take.
Unite called on the council to pull back from the brink, even at this late stage, and reconsider its plans which will have a devastating impact on the workforce and the local community.
Unite and other staff side unions will be meeting in Hull tomorrow (Wednesday 9 October) to coordinate a strategy to combat this move that will hit one of the most deprived areas in the region. A ballot for industrial action will be on the agenda.
Unite said the proposals would mean reducing the working week and swingeing cuts to overtime rates and allowances which will, in turn, hit vulnerable people, including the elderly receiving social care.
Fiona Farmer said: “We call on the council, even at this stage, to draw back from these proposals which will have a devastating impact on the workforce and the public who rely on the authority’s services on a daily basis.
“This draconian action has been forced on the council by the cutbacks in funding masterminded by Eric Pickles, who is attacking communities with deprived populations, while protecting wealthier Tory rural authorities.
“The unfairness of the Conservatives’ ‘we are all in it together’ mantra has been unmasked, yet again, as hypocrisy. It will be the elderly who will be hit by reduced social care – not the bloated ‘fat cats’ in the City of London.
“As Christmas approaches, hardworking council staff are fearful for their futures and livelihoods. We need to draw a line in the sand.”
The council wants to make £48 million in savings for the financial year 2014/15 and yesterday (Monday) announced the 45-day consultation period on its plans. The council has threatened that if staff don’t accept the cuts to pay and conditions by 1 December, they will be sacked and re-employed on inferior terms and conditions from 1 April 2014.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.