On 11 January, Liverpool became the European City of Culture. But the Liverpool Echo on 8 January announced that the city council faced a debt of £25 million. On the same day, Liverpool Unison members employed in Gladstone House, a children's home, received compulsory redundancy notices from the ruling Lib Dem council.
What a happy new year these workers face in this City of Culture.
Workers employed in schools face a problematic year with re-organisations proposed for both the primary and secondary school sectors, with the possibility of job losses.
All these issues, added to the cost of the long-awaited single status agreement proposals, will be a test for the city council workforce.
Liverpool Unison will be mounting a campaign to protect its members' jobs and terms and conditions and will work alongside other trade unions who are prepared to fight to protect their members' interests.
Roger Bannister, Unison's North West national executive member, has been invited to address the Liverpool branch AGM in March.
Liverpool city council found the money to pay off Sir David Henshaw, the former Chief Executive.
The local media have also reported that a six-figure sum may have been offered in a compromise agreement with the current Head of Culture department.
Unison is demanding that the full cost of the single status agreement is implemented, not at the cost of our members' terms and conditions.