Shropshire council plans to axe half staff

Up to half the staff at Shropshire council could face redundancy after it announced plans to save £80m.

The council has offered voluntary redundancy to nearly all of its staff after revealing that it needed to save about half of its costs on it personnel budget, but UNISON has warned that redundancies would have “devastating consequences” on the future of providing services in the area.

The council has cut £87m since 2011 and plans to save another £80m over the next four years.

Staff have received an email saying voluntary redundancies will be considered before compulsory redundancies are made, and they have until 6 September to consider this.

Staff employed in schools are not affected by the plans.

Branch secretary Alan James explained: “Our understanding of these proposals is that the council is looking to lose up to 50% of the workforce – across all areas – in the next four years, with the intention of making as many of these losses happen as quickly as possible.

“The rationale for this course of action is that they have to save £80m in the next four years.

“Shropshire UNISON is clearly opposed to any job losses and the subsequent effect that this will inevitably have upon the services we all deliver every day to the people of Shropshire.

“If these proposals are carried out in full, there can be no doubt that some services will suffer devastating consequences and some will disappear for ever.”

And Mr James added: “Branch officers will be working hard with the council decisionmakers in the coming months to mitigate these proposals in every way we can.

“We will ensure that any member needing our full support and guidance will receive it. There will of course be members who will find the proposals attractive and who decide that they would wish to take up an offer of redundancy.

“If so, then they must make sure that they receive the best possible advice before making any final decisions and they should contact the branch at the earliest opportunity.”

Mr James said that anyone who needs advice and information should “contact the branch at any time”. Stewards will hold members’ meetings in the coming weeks, and the union is also to consider holding mass member meetings around the county.

Shropshire UNISON

UNISON West Midlands

UNISON local government

Campaign: A Million Voices for Public Services

Key issue: Cuts to local services