Union accepts Leeds City Council job cuts

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UNIONS representing more than 13,000 Leeds City Council workers are refusing to accept the council’s proposed programme of cuts and job losses after a ballot of one major union supported the cuts.

The council is seeking 3,000 job losses over four years.

It is also proposing a series of other cost cuts.

Four unions representing 13,400 workers balloted their members on the proposals. Public service union Unison and the construction union Ucatt members voted narrowly in favour of the proposed programme, and the members of general unions GMB and Unite voted narrowly against. Turnout was understood to be low.

The actual results were – Unison, 53 per cent for the Council’s proposals, 47 per cent against; UCATT 56 per cent for, 44 per cent against; GMB 42 per cent for, 58 per cent against; Unite 45 per cent for, 55 per cent against.

The unions said in a joint statement: “The Joint Unions have decided that these mixed results are all within very small margins and as such do not give a clear mandate to accept proposals that would have a significant impact on redeployment and pay protection.

“The Joint Unions have therefore decided that they will not reach a collective agreement with Leeds City Council on the proposals.”

Leeds City Council has extended the deadline for talks to May 3.

The unions said: “The Joint Unions therefore have indicated that they want to continue to have meaningful discussions with the Council with the aim of avoiding compulsory redundancies. We want to co-operate with, and support, the Council’s objective to avoid redundancy by serious, but fair, redeployment.”

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: “We have been notified of the results from the union ballot and are considering our position.”

Daniel Brown.

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