UNISON members at Cardiff council have responded angrily to budget proposals being put out to consultation by the council. UNISON believes that if the council continues with their destructive policies, public services in the city will be beyond repair.
The council are also expecting the workforce to pay for some of the deficit through further erosion of their terms and conditions, despite an assurance last year that the so called ‘workforce package’ was a one off measure which would be in place for a defined 12 month period.
The package that the workforce were forced to accept included a reduction in their working week from 37 to 36 hours in 2014. UNISON was the only trade union to reject the package.
Steve Belcher, UNISON regional organiser, said:
“The council now has a serious credibility deficit as well as a financial deficit.
“UNISON finds it difficult to believe any assurances that they make following the misleading promises they made to the workforce last year.
“UNISON rejected the councils attack on our members’ working week last year. We were not naive enough to believe them then and nothing has changed since.
“The position our members took to oppose the changes earlier this year has been vindicated.
“Whilst the council remains committed to restoring the lost hour in April 2015 they now intend to secure a further £5.7m from the workforce through a further erosion of terms and conditions.
“Yet again our members who deliver essential services throughout the city find themselves under attack.
“We have not walked away from the negotiating table and will meet with the council if they are prepared to explore ways of delivering services that do not impact on our members pay, terms and conditions.
“When the full details of the budget are disclosed to the public, UNISON expects the electorate to be furious at the extent of the cuts and the devastating impact they will have on their communities.
“We understand that the desperately poor funding for local authorities is being driven by an ideological hatred of the public sector by Westminster.
“The Tory/Lib Dem coalition is intent on destroying all of the services that the public should be able to expect from their local councils. Nevertheless it is a Labour administration that is preparing to once again take money off their own staff.”