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Posted on 19 July 2013 at 15:28 GMT

Hull council Unison recommending action against cuts

A well attended emergency Local Government committee of Hull city council Unison branch voted unanimously to recommend to members the rejection of management's final proposals for cuts to terms and conditions and its endorsement of a programme of industrial action.

After weeks of attempted negotiations union negotiators reported their frustration with management who repeatedly failed to provide requested information and had to be taken to task by their own regional employers' representatives.

The arrogance and hypocrisy of senior managers was exposed when they rejected the trade unions' proposals to cap redundancy payments for salaries above 32,000 in order to make savings.

Instead management's proposals will disproportionately affect those on low salaries often reliant upon overtime and unsocial hours enhancements to make ends meet.

According to management's own figures, home care night assistants will suffer a net loss of 235.50 per month.

A Civic Mobile Control Operative will lose 392.73 per month and a Bridge Operative will stand to lose 477.91 per month.

The latter's shift pattern is determined by the Humber estuary tides which results in some of the most anti-social hours of work.

Whilst proposed changes to enhanced payments and travel allowances will severely affect sections of the workforce the proposed reductions in redeployment protection and redundancy policy will affect everyone, undermining job security.

The latest consultancy report presented to the council cabinet clearly outlines the direction senior managers wish to follow, towards the outsourcing of the entire workforce.

With privatisation firmly on the agenda union members need to take a stand to protect current agreements and resist a race to the bottom which will make their services more attractive to private speculators.

The shop stewards resolved to take these arguments into their respective departments and the branch will be organising a series of meetings to mobilise the membership for a determined fight.

Many will ask themselves: with these cuts, how is the Labour council any different to the previous Liberal regime?

Hull Unison gave its full backing to the three rebel Labour councillors who voted against the cuts budget.

Many trade unionists in Hull will be asking whether an alternative political representation should be sought in the form of anti-cuts candidates at the next council elections.

Phil Culshaw, a Unison steward (personal capacity)

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