Protests Outside Council Budget Meeting

A big rally's happening in Southampton later - ahead of a meeting by the council to set this year's budget..

The Unite union's angry at all the cuts which are planned - which include nearly 300 job losses and a pay reduction for staff.

They'll take part in a rally against the Tory controlled Southampton city council (16th February). Peter Allenson, Unite national officer for local government, will address a rally at the Civic Centre at 1.00pm, ahead of the council meeting which begins at 2.00pm.

The union is calling for guarantees on employment security and cuts.

They say:

"The council is making cuts to staff terms and conditions including a 5.4% pay cut for all staff, a freeze on any progression in pay, plus a two year pay freeze. The cuts also include reductions in youth services, with the majority of the job cuts
affecting council staff working with young people in schools and in the community.

 "Of the 180 job cuts announced so far, 83 of them are in youth services.

"Our members have said that if the council guarantees future job security and also guarantees that the cuts to terms and conditions are temporary, they would seriously consider accepting the changes, but the council has refused to give any guarantees.

"Unite fears the Tory council may give the impression it is cutting terms and conditions to save jobs and services but further down the line the council will start making further cuts to services and jobs having already cut terms and conditions."

Peter Allenson said:

 "If the council guarantees future job security and that the cuts to terms and conditions are temporary, our members would seriously consider accepting the changes, but the council has refused to give any guarantees. With years
of cuts to come our fear is that this is just the beginning for Southampton..

"It is extremely worrying that this Tory council is targeting young people. The Tories seem hell bent on creating a lost generation and this council is no different."

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