Union bosses call on Redcar and Cleveland Council to avoid job losses as it tackles budget cuts (From The Northern Echo)
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Union bosses call on Redcar and Cleveland Council to avoid job losses as it tackles budget cuts
UNION chiefs are calling on Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to take a stand against possible job cuts when it meets to discuss next year’s spending plans.
Council bosses have set out a timetable to deliver their spending plans, but have already identified a £33.765m shortfall in cash by 2020.
The authority will start looking at nine separate reviews as it attempts to balance its books and union members are calling for councillors to fight the Government’s austerity measures which will see a £10.166m budget deficit in next year’s financial settlement.
Andrew Tickle, the council’s UNISON branch secretary, said: "We understand the Council has been put in a difficult position due to the vindictive cuts being imposed by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government.
"However, the Coalition cannot be allowed to get away with destroying local government unchallenged.
"We ask that the Cabinet show that a Labour-led authority will resist these attacks on vital public services and fight to protect jobs. It's time to stop accepting the austerity agenda and to start challenging the false economics upon which it is based."
At the beginning of the year, the authority agreed to impose a two per cent council tax rise in a bid to offset the loss of Government funding which saw them make £4.4m worth of savings.
And in the coming months council members will be launching a consultation process with staff and union leaders before opening it out to members of the public to have their say before the budget is set early next year.
Council leader George Dunning is hoping to keep compulsory redundancy figures to a minimum, but accepts that the authority is facing a difficult task.
He said: "The Labour cabinet on the council will do everything in their power to mitigate any job losses to an absolute minimum as they have done so over the last three years with single figure compulsory redundancies.
"Despite having to find £19.5m in Coalition Government cuts over the next three years we remain committed to protecting our front line services and the most vulnerable in our society."
The council’s cabinet will meet on Tuesday morning to begin its budget process.
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