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North East councils discuss redundancies

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Employees working for two North East local authorities have been told that managers are considering redundancies as they look to save money.

Oldham BC has formally notified employees that they could be made redundant as the council looks to reduce its workforce by around 800 posts while Wirral MBC’s acting chief executive has written to its 6,000 employees offering them voluntary redundancy.

Wirral’s staff have also been asked if they would be prepared to work fewer hours in order to help the council cut spending by £108m over the next four years and been warned that redundancy offers are set to be less generous in the future.

Council leader Jeff Green (Con) said: “I thought in all fairness, because there are staff who have worked for us for some considerable time and who have worked flat out for the people of Wirral, I have tried to be as open and as fair as possible.

“I have said we’re going to change these conditions, and before we change them, you should know that that’s going to happen and you will have an opportunity to leave on the current terms.”

GMB senior organiser Giovanna Holt said Oldham’s redundancy plans would hit local services as well as employees.

The current level of job losses being notified by councils like Oldham, and city councils such as Birmingham and Sheffield will not be mitigated with new jobs in the private sector. Those who think that they will are indulging in pure fantasy.

“These public sector job cuts will in fact mean losses in the private sector as well. For many, many households in Oldham the effects will be devastating.”

Further south, Unison have condemned Worcestershire CC’s plans to cut as many as 1,000 posts.

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