Action talk on agenda for town hall unions
7:45am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in News
THE prospect of industrial action to oppose compulsory redundancies will be discussed by Bolton union members this week.
Unison will be hosting its annual general meeting at Bolton Town Hall on Wednesday, when members will be asked to oppose public service pay freezes and fight any compulsory redundancies at Bolton Council.
Thousands of Bolton Unison members have been invited to attend the lunchtime meeting which will be held from 12.30pm in the Lancaster Suite.
Members will be asked to vote on motions which include opposing cuts and changes to terms and conditions, opposing compulsory redundancies and pay freezes in local government.
Unison has said in the past it would be “in dispute”
with Bolton Council if there was a single compulsory redundancy.
So far compulsory job losses have been avoided, despite the authority axing 833 posts in the last two years.
But last month councillors voted through more than £43 million in cuts over the next two years.
The move will see the loss of 536 more jobs — 240 of which are currently vacant or filled by agency staff.
So far 150 to 200 people have offered to accept voluntary redundancy, leaving a question mark above the remaining 96 to 146 “under threat” jobs.
Unison branch secretary Bernadette Gallagher, said: “Currently we have a no compulsory redundancy policy within Bolton Council but over the past few years we have worked hard with the employer to prevent compulsory job losses.
“In the past our members have expressed willingness to take some form of industrial action if compulsory job losses are threatened.
“The meeting will be a chance to reaffirm our branch policy and assess the level of any action our members might be willing to take.
“We don’t know at this stage whether that would include strike action.”
Bolton at Home Unison convenor Janet Bryan said: “The Unison AGM is only once a year and an important opportunity for our members to vote on some of the issues which affect us all.”
A council spokesman said: “We will be mitigating the impact of reductions on staff wherever possible by deleting vacant posts, allowing employees to take early retirement or voluntary severance and offering a comprehensive redeployment period for those who face redundancy.
“We will also be working closely with the trade unions and consulting them on all proposed reductions.”
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