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The Masked Tulip

Dismissal Warning To 7,000 Neath Port Talbot Staff

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_west_wales/10449934.stm

A council is warning it may dismiss its 7,000 workers and re-employ them on new terms without agreement on savings.

Among changes Neath Port Talbot council wants are to cut overtime, food and travelling allowances and freeze pay.

It says the savings would help avoid compulsory redundancies and dismissal is a "last resort".

But Unison, which represents 3,000 council staff, described the move as "a big gamble" and said the authority was "negotiating with a gun to its head."

Details of the council's position are laid out in a letter sent to the unions on Friday, a copy of which has been obtained by BBC Wales.

It said it was facing an "unprecedented" situation and must close a £24m gap in its budget by 2014.

That did not take into account the £6.2bn needed in public sector savings announced by the UK government or the fall-out from last week's budget.

The council says it will reduce its workforce by about 750 full-time posts through natural wastage, voluntary redundancies and service changes.

But it says to avoid further job loses it must make savings on its annual workforce costs which stand at around £150m.

It has proposed changes in rates for overtime and unsociable hours and shift allowance payments.

It wants to stop the use of council vehicles for home to work travel, change car allowance mileage rates and stop some meal expenses.

Graham Jones, the head of human resources, said six months of negotiations with the unions, including Unison, the GMB, UCATT and Unite, had produced little in terms of potential or actual savings.

He said he hoped they could now enter "meaningful discussions" and that the option to dismiss the council workforce and re-employ people on new contracts was "a last resort."

He told the BBC News website: "We are not at war with the unions. We will continue to have discussions as we have been.

"This is not about dismissing people - it's about keeping them in employment. We don't want to make anyone compulsorily redundant.

"It [the financial position] is very very difficult and it's going to get more difficult.

"The package is intended to spread the pain across the board."

He said it was a situation faced by every local authority in Wales but Neath Port Talbot was ahead of most in trying to tackle it.

Unison regional organiser Eddie Gabrielsen said the union would be holding emergency meetings for its members on 6 and 9 July.

He said in return for agreeing to the "pain" of changing employment conditions staff had wanted guarantees on job security but that had not been forthcoming.

"I think the council is trying to put a gun to our heads to negotiate.

"It's a tactic that's been used before but it's a big gamble - they are gambling everyone will take up lesser pay and conditions."

He said the changes proposed would hit the lowest paid council workers hardest.

"It's hurting people like care assistants - cutting their hourly rate and the travel costs they get for going to see clients.

"They have gone way over the top and our members are unlikely to go along with it," he added.

Mr Gabrielsen called on the local authority to tell the public and the UK and Welsh assembly governments that reduced funding would result in cuts to front line services.

"They are just kidding themselves they can manage their way through this situation," he added.

Edited by The Masked Tulip

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And pensions to be altered too?

WOW. A great idea. Gosh. A lot of people are going to be very nervous about this - fingers crossed the unions can ensure the big wages get cut massively too.

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Port Talbot basically only exists because of the steelworks. In the days when the steelworks employed tens of thousands the Council staff numbers looked small.

Now, with so few working at Corus, the town is basically the Council, the hospital and the schools/Police. Same for Neath. Oh and some shops.

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Seems in the death throws.

Perhaps the unions can suggest how the council will continue financing the jobs, rather than striking.

There is little productive economy there. It's very sad. Wales will suffer more than average in this second leg down. There are other places like this in the uk, purely held together by public sector organisations, which thenselves will suffer cutbacks.

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Today they began talking about having several large LA's again - much like the 70s in attempt to cut costs.

The Welsh Arts Council announced some cuts today but, IMPO, they are minor and seem to have little bearing on how bad things are. They are trying to protect all the Gog QUANGO stuff as far as I can make out.

There were still Arts jobs advetised online today in Wales paing circa £50 which, as a friend who used to work in that organisation pointed out to me, was closed to 75K or 100K by the time you took into account all the trips, all the expenses.

Meanwhile there was a Head of IT Communications for a Council paying 30K tops.

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There were still Arts jobs advetised online today in Wales paing circa £50 which, as a friend who used to work in that organisation pointed out to me, was closed to 75K or 100K by the time you took into account all the trips, all the expenses.

Meanwhile there was a Head of IT Communications for a Council paying 30K tops.

They've still got to give the drop out waster children of the minister's jobs after they've pot smoked themselves through Newport Art college.

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Port Talbot basically only exists because of the steelworks. In the days when the steelworks employed tens of thousands the Council staff numbers looked small.

Now, with so few working at Corus, the town is basically the Council, the hospital and the schools/Police. Same for Neath. Oh and some shops.

sounds a bit like [replacing 'steelworks' with another industrial-type reference] most of the United Kingdom?

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Seems in the death throws.

Perhaps the unions can suggest how the council will continue financing the jobs, rather than striking.

Money printing. Then when inflation hits 10% theyll want 20% payrises, then when it hits 20% they'll want 40%. And before we know it its the 1970s all over again.

Then they'll want inflation to fall, but expect everyone to take a hit but them.

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Today they began talking about having several large LA's again - much like the 70s in attempt to cut costs.

The Welsh Arts Council announced some cuts today but, IMPO, they are minor and seem to have little bearing on how bad things are. They are trying to protect all the Gog QUANGO stuff as far as I can make out.

There were still Arts jobs advetised online today in Wales paing circa £50 which, as a friend who used to work in that organisation pointed out to me, was closed to 75K or 100K by the time you took into account all the trips, all the expenses.

Meanwhile there was a Head of IT Communications for a Council paying 30K tops.

I live in Wales but I don't understand the sentence I have emboldened. Could you please explain what you mean? Thanks.

Yes, 'places' like Wales will get hammered by the austerity measures along with 'places' like Scotland, England and Northern Ireland not to mention Greece, Spain, Portugal, Eire..............................................

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Is there a food parcel scheme running down there yet? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/10451684.stm

Just noticed the Assembly has announced that several Welsh universities face closure too. Jeepers.

Fewer councils definitely makes sense - my county used to be Dyfed - then they split it back into Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire (no doubt so they could access more public money).

Edited by gruffydd

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Money printing. Then when inflation hits 10% theyll want 20% payrises, then when it hits 20% they'll want 40%. And before we know it its the 1970s all over again.

Then they'll want inflation to fall, but expect everyone to take a hit but them.

The same problem applies to everyone.

Anyone here fancy a 20% pay cut now that inflation is at 10%?

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  • 145 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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