Plans unveiled today (Thursday) by Oxfordshire County Council to save £33m by cutting over 600 jobs over the next two years will have a negative impact on the local economy and impact front line services says UNISON.
UNISON has raised concerns over the scale of proposals and has been in discussions with the council, stressing the need to protect jobs and services. UNISON has already secured a commitment to retraining and redeployment wherever possible for staff potentially affected and will continue to campaign to reduce the number of compulsory redundancies.
Oxfordshire County Council is not alone in having to deal with substantive ongoing budgetary pressures due to Government funding cuts with real terms central funding falling by 49.1% over the last 8 years. UNISON is concerned about the move to digital systems and automation rather than personal service. UNISON are requesting that the new technology is introduced alongside the work that staff do, rather than replacing them, so that a phased approach can be used which will benefit staff and public.
UNISON Assistant General Secretary, Margaret Thomas said:
“UNISON is committed to protecting jobs and services, many vulnerable users prefer to speak to council staff for their support rather than machines. Our members cover a wide variety of crucial roles all areas of the council, and the term ‘back office’ can be misleading. Far from being less important, many vital council services simply could not function without these staff, As a large employer within the South East this will have significant impact regionally as well as locally.
UNISON will listen and act on our members feedback throughout the consultation and continue to engage with the employer to mitigate loses.”
Ryan Slaughter T: 0148 340 6511 M: 07903 855570 E: firstname.lastname@example.org