Friday, 6 November 2009

Notts County protest against the attack on terms and conditions

Yesterday, at 12:30 there was a protest lead by UNISON against the savage and unjustified cuts on the terms and conditions of Notts County Council staff. Hundreds of people turned up to tell the council what they thought. The Nottingham Evening Post has a story about the protest here. It was great to see so many different people from all over the county prepared to speak up and speak out; some had travelled over 20 miles in their lunch break to make their voice heard. By the time protesters had got to County Hall, the Evening Post had published leaked details of the brutal cuts to services. These are services that are need now more than ever by some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Labour and Lib Dem County Councillors gave speeches supporting the protesters (pictured is Labour Group Deputy Leader, Joyce Bosniak addressing the protesters). Tory County Councllors were nowhere to be seen, apparently they were enjoying their lunch in County Hall. Not one Tory Councty Councillor was prepared to show their face - instead they sent Chief Executive, Mick Burrows, out to do their dirty work and try to justify this unfair attack on hard working council staff.

UNISON NEC member and Nottinghamshire County UNISON joint branch secretary, Chris Tansley, said that the actions of the Tories, who took control in June, should serve as a warning to UNISON members elsewhere:

“We are finding out the hard way what a Tory government would be like. We have a new Tory leader here called Kay Cutts who is really living up to her name. Under her leadership they are cutting staff redundancy entitlements to pave the way to axing over 470 posts. Staff are having their mileage rates cut, annual leave reduced and losing agreed pay protections.

Not content with that the Tories are attacking services to their own community by selling off all the elderly persons homes, closing a quarter of the day centres, reducing benefits advice and even shutting the facilities for buying a cup of tea in Sherwood forest. Robin Hood would be appalled! The substantial increase to the costs for home care, meals on wheels and transport to the remaining day centres will mean that the elderly and disabled will only get the service they can afford.

It's the same Ryanair approach to Council Services that the Tories in Barnet are pushing ahead with and that Cameron is so impressed with. We're determined that UNISON will lead the way in campaigning against these draconian attacks on jobs and services. We’re also pleased that the Labour Councillors have signed up to our Million Voices campaign and look forward to working with them to fight these proposals."

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