Union fears county council jobs axe

UNION chiefs fear hundred of jobs could be axed after Nottinghamshire County Council announced changes to redundancy terms for its workers.

It was revealed today (Thursday) the authority was trying to save 2.9m from its budget by a major overhaul of annual leave entitlement, car user allowance and redundancy terms and conditions.

Council bosses say the move will help balance its books and will bring employee benefits in line with local authorities but Unison fears it means jobs could be at risk.

Ravi Subramanian, Unison regional head of local government, said: "In 2008/09 the council spent 19m on agency workers, the highest amount, by far, for any council in the East Midlands.

"If they need to save money they should look at reducing costs here — a modest ten per cent reduction would save nearly 2m.

"The council could save another 168,000 by scrapping the extra cabinet places created in July by the newly elected Tory group."

But council leader Coun Kay Cutts said: "The sorry state of the public finances means we have to look very carefully at our bottom line.

"This is not a decision we have taken lightly. Our employees know that we are going to have to make some difficult choices to balance the budget and we will meet that challenge together.

"Staff costs are a major part of our budget — amounting to 288 million each year — more than half of the council's overall 500 million budget, excluding schools' budgets."

For full story, see next week's Mansfield Chad.