At a worrying time for all employees, council bosses in Chesterfield have agreed not to make any compulsory redundancies for six months, signing a job protection agreement in recognition of workers’ vital work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This agreement is the first of its kind in the East Midlands, and was drawn up by UNISON.
UNISON is urging other employers across the region to follow suit. Union officials are currently lobbying other councils and the NHS.
Many of the council’s staff were redeployed during the pandemic to help in other sectors where there were shortages or increased demand because of the crisis.
UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea signed the agreement on behalf of the union. Council leader councillor Tricia Gilby and chief executive Huw Bowen signed on behalf of the council.
Ms McAnea said: “During COVID-19, staff have kept working on the front line to keep essential services running to protect our community. I’m extremely proud that Chesterfield Borough Council has recognised the sacrifices made by those staff and has worked with us to offer them job protection in these uncertain times.”
Ms Gilby said: “We know that these are challenging times for many, and people are worried about their health and that of their families. They shouldn’t have to worry about job security too, and we’re backing this agreement in a strong show of support and thanks to our staff.
“We have a good working relationship with UNISON, and I am pleased we’ve been able to work together to sign this agreement.”
Mr Bowen said: “We are immensely proud of all our staff and indebted to them for the tremendous commitment they have shown over the last year – truly going above and beyond to put Chesterfield’s communities first.
“We welcome the opportunity to recognise and commend them for their commitment.”