VIDEO: A decision to cut nearly 300 jobs at Southampton City Council is being seen as a U-turn. Earlier this year they backed council workers during a strike over wage cuts and redundancies. Martin Dowse talked to Royston Smith, Soton City Council and Mike Tucker, Unison.
The leader of Southampton City Council has defended the loss of 279 jobs - saying they are "painful but necessary". Councillor Richard Williams said the losses were due to a combination of government funding cuts, increased costs and increasing demand on services.
Library opening hours will be reduced, and charges will be introduced for residential parking. A children’s residential unit will close and youth services will stop. Unions will decide on Thursday whether they will take industrial action, after several strikes last year.
Cllr Williams said: “This budget is painful, but necessary. We have managed to safeguard the most essential services, increase income equitably and where reductions have to be made, they have been made with care."
Members of the GMB Union have told of their shock about the loss of 279 jobs at Southampton City Council. Almost 210 of those jobs will go within adult and children’s services with the closure of "Our House", the local authority managed children’s home.
GMB Regional Organiser Adrian Baker said: "This is a massive blow not only for the staff of Southampton City Council but also the residents of Southampton, with those least able to defend themselves hardest hit."
Southampton City Council has just confirmed 279 jobs will be lost as it sets out its budget for 2013/14. Some services, such as the Youth Service, the “Our House” children’s home and Archaeology are to be closed completely. Union members will meet on Thursday to decide what action they'll take.
Unions have criticised the Conservatives - over job cuts imposed by a Labour run council. Up to 300 jobs will be axed by Southampton City Council today as they set their budget for 2013/14. Labour took over the running of the council in May after the local elections.
But in a statement, Unite and Unison, "condemned the Conservative Party at both a national and local level for causing up to 8 per cent of the council’s workforce to lose their jobs". They say the council finances were made worse by the previous Conservative administration.
Some services, such as the Youth Service, the “Our House” children’s home and Archaeology are to be closed completely. Union members will meet on Thursday to decide what action they'll take - including whether to call for strikes.
Hundreds of council workers could be told today they'll lose their jobs. It's thought up to 250 posts could be lost at Southampton City Council which has a multi-million shortfall in their budget for next year.
The new redundancies come just months after 200 contract staff at the Civic Centre were told they were facing the axe. Labour won the local elections in May after a number of strikes in the city over plans by the then Conservative led council to impose job and pay cuts.
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