Workers at Kirklees Council considering strike

Staff at Kirklees Council are being consulted over potential strike action in response to plans to cut 250 jobs to address a £20 million overspend, UNISON says.

An indicative ballot is now open to workers – after UNISON called on the council earlier this month to reconsider its plans.

No agreed redundancy policy is in place, and the authority has failed to provide clarity on the affected roles, says UNISON.

The union was notified of the proposed redundancies earlier this month, which are scheduled for between October and March 2024.

The job losses are due to the council’s £20.3million overspend for this financial year on its budget of £379.4million.

UNISON has also been informed by the council it cannot afford to offer voluntary redundancy to employees.

The union is again calling for the council to reconsider its plans, which will result in the community missing out on vital services. The plans are also causing concern among staff who are worried whether their jobs are at risk.

UNISON Yorkshire and Humberside regional organiser Robin Symonds said: “The council’s plans will decimate local services, and force a huge number of people into unemployment.

“The authority hasn’t even told UNISON which services will be affected, and which jobs will be cut.

“Voluntary redundancies have been ruled out – and no details have been given on what policies the council intends to follow.

“The early response to the indicative ballot has been very encouraging, with over 400 votes cast in the first morning alone.

“The proposed redundancies are phase one of 750 job cuts planned by the council. It’s a very uncertain time for staff who continue to deliver public services.

“We are on a collision course as we prepare to fight the cuts.”

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