Union slams City Council cuts as ‘devastating’

Posted on November 23, 2010 by


The Southampton branch of the public sector UNISON have released details of the scale of cutbacks Southampton City Council is proposing, slamming them as ‘devastating’ and that “The effects of the cuts proposed will disproportionately hit low paid women workers and carers that rely on these services”.

UNISON claim to represent "A million voices for public services" (and have some pretty abstract branding...)

The City’s Youth Service in particular were highlighted, with UNISON suggesting that it would be all but ended with 50 job losses on top of existing budget cuts in this area.  In other areas at least another 200 jobs are expected to be lost, with another 400 under threat unless other staff expect a pay cut.  Factoring in inflation this will leave staff with around 10% less in their pockets, putting many in huge financial difficulty.

UNISON Southampton have released the following statement:

UNISON today received details of the Conservative Southampton City Council’s devastating proposals to meet the coalition Governments spending cuts required in their Comprehensive Spending Review announced on 20 October 2010.

As expected the Tory Council’s decision is to cut services to the most vulnerable residents in the City including slashing Youth services by over 50 jobs, (25% of staffs) on top of severe cuts already being made. This will effectively end Youth service provision in the City.

The Council has proposed 250 job cuts across all services and threatened another 400 jobs will go if staffs do not accept a 5.4% pay cut through an enforced reduction in working hours, loss of sick pay and other cuts to terms and conditions.

UNISON representatives were shocked at the Council’s proposals which will leave all staffs in fear of their jobs and ability to support their families when living costs continue to rise.

UNISON has called an urgent meeting for all members on 24 November to consider our response. All options including industrial action will be considered as members seek to protect the vital services they provide.

The effects of the cuts proposed will disproportionately hit low paid women workers and carers that rely on these services.

It does not have to be this way. The Tory City Council is following the coalition governments spending plans which effectively seek to repay a 25 year mortgage in 5 years, rather than join UNISON’s campaign for growth and for the deficit to be met by tax changes. We currently have billions in tax being avoided by the companies that support the Tory party. A bank transactions tax should also be introduced alongside other progressive tax changes instead of cutting vital services. Instead we have regressive cuts by the Tory Council hitting the vulnerable people in the City and workers being asked to pay the price of the banks failings.

UNISON will be campaigning to avoid these draconian cuts to services and will ensure that the people of Southampton at elections on 5 May next year hold to account the Tory Councillors in this City putting forward these proposals in support of the Coalition Governments spending cuts.

Further details on the cuts and the Unions’ reaction to follow.


UNISON reps met with the council on December 9th with their demands of what their members would support to reduce the budget, but no agreements were made on any points.  Further meetings are scheduled with the Council in the run up to another mass members’ meeting with UNISON and Unite members on January 20th, where any agreements will be voted upon by members and their course of action decided upon.  The Blowhole will of course bring you further news on this as it comes in.

Posted in: News, Southampton, UK