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18 October 2013, 07:09
Unison say they'll defend their members working for the Environment Agency who face redundancy in the next 12 months.
The union claim work is being moved to India, and say changes to funding will cause the loss of up to 1,400 full-time positions in the Environment Agency across the country, over the next three years.
Around 100 staff at the Kingfisher House site in Peterborough who currently deliver bespoke finance services to the Environment Agency face redundancy, according to Unison.
Unison Branch Secretary and Joint Chair of the Environment Agency National Trade Union Side, Stuart Martin, said:
"Many of us have been here since the beginning in 1999. We joined because we believe in the values of the Environment Agency, and we have always worked with management to make changes work.
"Morale is low and we feel like we are being sold down the river. Staff feel let down, upset, concerned and very vulnerable. We are worried that the Environment Agency will have their arm twisted by the Cabinet.
"I'll be 61 in December and I was looking at seeing out my last four years before retirement here, but now I'm looking at the prospect of being made redundant. Not many employers will take you on at 62. If the site closes down I may have a job for another 12 months but will then be made redundant."
Unison National Officer, Matthew Lay said:
"This is an absolute disgrace. The government is transferring skilled jobs overseas at the very time when the priority should be to reduce UK unemployment.
"Unemployment in Peterborough is already above the national average and this move will simply add more people to the dole queue. We are making a genuine offer to work with the Environment Agency and we hope it is taken seriously."
The Environment agency say around 1,400 staff across the UK could be lost, but no final decisions have been made.