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The largest trade union within Chesire West and Chester Council have notified the Council, that they will be balloting union members for industrial action regarding the worsening of staff terms and conditions. Changes that the council have imposed are dismissing staff but then re-engaging them under new employment contracts.
The proposed changes mean that staff are now expected to work overtime, weekends and the majority of bank holidays for flat rate pay. Also, staff who provide their own car for work are facing having their allowances drastically reduced, even though these rates are independently calculated and agreed nationally by Local Authority Employers. In addition to all of this, premium payments for night work are to be reduced and payments for shifts, including split shifts are set to end.
Unison have stated negotiations are continuing but they are disappointed that the Council have left them with no alternative other than to ballot for industrial action.
"The Council are using the economic climate as a smokescreen to attack their own staff, especially the lowest paid including many women care workers, yet they seem to find money for headline grabbing projects which make themselves look good. It's shameful that the Council don't value their hard working staff as much as they do their public image." said Ray McHale, Unison Assistant Branch Secretary.
He also went on to add: "We're committed to resolving this and have put proposals to the Council. However, if these are not agreed then we will have little option but to proceed with our industrial action."
Cheshire West and Chester Council have told Heart 95 per cent of workers have agreed to the changes saving the public four million pounds.