Union is set to ballot for strike over council cuts

UNISON members protest outside Mansion House in Doncaster.
UNISON members protest outside Mansion House in Doncaster.

Council workers are preparing to ballot for strike action after rejecting changes to their terms and conditions as part of cost cutting measures.

A total of 67.5 per cent of Unison members voted to reject proposals being made by Doncaster Council.

Jim Board, branch secretary of Doncaster Unison said the intention to vote for strike action or industrial action short of a strike would be submitted this week and a ballot timetable would then be set.

Unison has condemned the council’s proposals to slash overtime and unsociable hours payments of employees as part of a review.

The three main unions Unison, Unite and the GMB balloted their members to see if they want to accept the proposed changes to their contracts, which also includes car mileage payments cut.

Unite also voted to reject the proposals whilst GMB members voted in favour of accepting them.

The revenue budget for the next financial year states almost £30 million of cutbacks must be made.

Chief executive Jo Miller said the ‘no’ vote meant that the council will not be able to enter into a collective agreement with the trade unions to implement the changes that include the annual leave buy back.

Doncaster Council will now proceed with a previous offer based on 2.5 per cent maximum pay cuts, with protection for the lowest paid members of staff, together with increments and car mileage and overtime reductions.

Ms Miller added: “All the work that we have been doing on terms and conditions has aimed to ensure minimal impact on employee pay packets and protection for the lowest paid members of staff.

“The outcome of Friday’s ballot marks the end of a lengthy and complex consultation process and means we can now move forward with implementing the new terms and conditions.”

Around 20,000 public sector workers went out on strike last December in one of the biggest walk-outs ever.